Interface Load Cells 301 Characteristics and Applications Guide

The Interface Load Cells 301 Guide is a technical resource and a practical tool for test engineers and measurement device users. It equips you with comprehensive insights into load cell performance and optimization, empowering you to design and execute specific test plans confidently.

Our team of application experts and load cell engineers, with their deep understanding and extensive experience, delve into critical topics. They provide technical explanations, visualizations, and scientific details that are informative and reliable, ensuring you understand and maximize the functionality of load cells in diverse applications.


  • Load Cell Stiffness
  • Load Cell Natural Frequency: Lightly Loaded Case
  • Load Cell Natural Frequency: Heavily Loaded Case
  • Contact Resonance
  • Application of Calibration Loads: Conditioning the Cell
  • Application of Calibration Loads: Impacts and Hysteresis
  • Test Protocols and Calibrations
  • Application of In-Use Loads: On-Axis Loading
  • Control of Off-Axis Loads
  • Reducing Extraneous Loading Effects by Optimizing Design
  • Overload Capacity with Extraneous Loading
  • Impact Loads

Learn how the inherent stiffness of load cells affects performance under different loading conditions. Use this guide to investigate load cell natural frequency in our analysis of lightly and heavily loaded scenarios to comprehend how to load variations influence frequency response.

Contact resonance is another crucial aspect covered extensively in this guide. Gain an understanding of this vital principle and its implications for accurate measurements. The effect of contact resonance can be minimized using high-quality rod end bearings and a higher capacity load cell to increase the load cell stiffness.

Additionally, we discuss the application of calibration loads, emphasizing the importance of conditioning the cell and addressing impacts and hysteresis during calibration procedures. Any transducer that depends upon the deflection of a metal for its operation, such as a load cell, torque transducer, or pressure transducer, retains a history of its previous loadings. This effect occurs because the minute motions of the crystalline structure of the metal, small as they are, have a frictional component that shows up as hysteresis.

Test protocols and calibrations are thoroughly examined, providing sensible guidelines for ensuring precision and reliability in measurement processes.

TIP: Load cells are routinely conditioned in one mode (either tension or compression) and then calibrated in that mode. If a calibration in the opposite mode is also required, the cell is conditioned in that mode before the second calibration. Thus, the calibration data reflects the cell’s operation only when it is conditioned in the mode in question.

We also delve into the application of in-use loads, focusing on on-axis loading techniques and strategies for controlling off-axis loads to enhance measurement accuracy. We explore methods for reducing extraneous loading effects by optimizing design, offering valuable insights into mitigating external influences on load cell performance.

TIP: All on-axis loadings generate some off-axis extraneous components, no matter how small. The amount of this extraneous loading is a function of the parts’ tolerance in the machine or load frame’s design, the precision with which the components are manufactured, the care with which the machine elements are aligned during assembly, the rigidity of the load-bearing parts, and the adequacy of the attaching hardware.

Overload capacity with extraneous loading and dealing with impact loads are also discussed in detail to equip engineers with the knowledge needed to safeguard load cells against adverse conditions.

TIP: One profound effect of off-axis loading is reducing the cell’s overload capacity. The typical 150% overload rating on a standard load cell or the 300% overload rating on a fatigue-rated cell is the allowed load on the primary axis without concurrent side loads, moments, or torques applied to the cell.

The Interface Load Cells 301 Guide is not just a resource but an influential tool for anyone using load cell technology. The information helps you optimize performance, enhance accuracy, and ensure the reliability of measurement systems in various applications, making it an essential asset for any test engineer or measurement device user.

You can find other helpful Interface guides here. Our exclusive 101 Series explores the ins and outs of force measurement. Subscribe and follow our updates.

Additional Resources

Interface Load Cells 201 General Procedures Guide

Load Cell 101 and What You Need to Know

Introducing Interface Load Cell Selection Guides

Interface Load Cell Field Guide

Interface Load Cell 301 Guide- 2024 Edition