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About Strainstall

Strainstall is a world leader in the development of innovative monitoring solutions to enhance the safety and performance of your assets.

Drawing on more than 50 years’ experience, we develop and apply our innovative technology,  including load, strain and stress measuring techniques, within a wide range of sectors including marine, offshore, civil engineering, rail and aerospace.

We specialise in the design and manufacture of standard and bespoke load cells, strain gauges and integrated systems which are proven to perform year on year in hostile and hazardous environments.

Whether a project is large or small, we provide a range of services including hull stress monitoring, crane weighing and overload, tendon and riser tension monitoring in TLPs.

Our instrumentation and software systems capture and analyse data on parameters such as strain, displacement, inclination, temperature, vibration and water levels to provide asset owners and operators with a comprehensive and real-time overview of events to realise optimum performance.

Strainstall has been part of James Fisher and Sons plc since 2006. James Fisher is a leading provider of specialist services to the marine, oil and gas and other high assurance industries worldwide.


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Company history

 1953 - 1967


The bonded foil strain gauge was invented at Saunders Roe on the Isle of Wight by Peter Scott-Jackson. Peter was a member of Saunders Roe’s Strain Gauge Division’ where he was joined by Chief Engineer and founder of Strainstall Frank Hartshorne.


Keen to further commercialise the technology, Frank Hartshorne, Bob Eldridge, and Archie Court founded Strainstall in Cowes, Isle of Wight. It was here that the company would pioneer the use of the bonded foil strain gauge in load cells for high-assurance industries worldwide.


Strainstall designs and installs structural monitoring equipment on the first UK nuclear power station to use a pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel  at Oldbury.

1973 - 1987


Strainstall develops the first intrinsically safe hazardous area strain gauge amplifier to meet the safety demands of oil and gas operations in the North Sea.


Strainstall supplies hazardous area load monitoring equipment for the UK’s National Coal Board. The equipment is specifically designed to operate safely in the potentially explosive and dusty atmosphere of coal mines. To this day, the company continues to supply specialised load cells for long wall mining applications.


Strainstall’s load cells support Richard Branson as he flies across the Atlantic in a hot air balloon.

1988 - 1994


Strainstall delivers load monitoring technology for the world’s largest ship lifting system at Devonshire Dock Hall, helping to safely lift Trident submarines.


Strainstall develops its patented strain ring surface strain measurement device. The strain ring was initially developed for a Ministry of Defence contract to monitor load and fatigue damage in rapid deployable military bridges


Strainstall launches its StressAlert Hull Stress Monitoring System (HSMS). The system has been continually developed and updated over the years and has been installed on over 300 vessels since its launch.

1996 - 2008


Strainstall first deploys its strain rings in offshore upstream operations. Since then, this technology has been widely used in the oil and gas sector.


Strainstall is awarded a landmark contract for the Abb Vetco tension leg platform in Exxon’s Kizomba oil field – off the coast of Angola.


James Fisher and Sons plc (JFS) acquires Strainstall. This combines Strainstall’s specialist load monitoring experience with JFS’s global capability and depth of expertise.

2015 - 2017


Strainstall launch its Container Weight System (CWS), which was quickly adopted by ports around the world to answer the industry’s SOLAS safety regulations.


Strainstall makes a splash in the offshore renewables sector. The load monitoring specialists support the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind, as well as Sustainable Marine’s landmark PLAT-I tidal energy platform.

2019 and beyond


Strainstall continues to drive the renewables sector’s sustainable development by supplying load monitoring equipment for the Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind farm – the largest of its kind.

Coming soon...

Strainstall has a host of exciting new technologies and projects in the pipeline.



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