LowProfile Load Cells 101

In the field of force measurement, load cells are defined by a set of specifications attributed to a configured shape and size of the flexure model. These models are engineered to meet requirements in weight, size, cost, accuracy, use life, rated capacity, extraneous forces, test profile, error specs, temperature, altitude, pressure, and materials.

Of all the flexure models available, the low profile load cell is the most common force measurement sensor model used for general test and measurement applications.

Did you know that Interface is known for creating the first low profile load cells more than 50 years ago? Our founder first introduced the low profile in 1969 and later trademarked as the first of its kind precision LowProfile® Load Cell by Interface. With this invention, Interface became with market leader of precision load cells. In fact, our 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell, designed for eccentric load compensated tension and compression, remains our most popular product today.

This pancake-style shear beam cell design is world-renowned for durability, accuracy, and performance. The LowProfile design resembles two shear beam cells end-to-end, exhibiting the stability of a doubled-ended shear beam and augmented by the fact that the circular design is equivalent to four double-ended cells. Thus, it provides stability in eight directions at the center point.

The LowProfile designs include a base, bolted to the flexure around its outside rim. The base is a flat surface, guaranteed to provide optimum support for the flexure. The use of a base ensures the exceptional performance in the Interface LowProfile series, as each load cell is built, evaluated, and calibrated with the base.

Advantages of all Interface LowProfile design include:

  • Higher output
  • Better fatigue life
  • Better resistance to extraneous loads
  • Shorter load path
  • Extremely low compliance with higher stiffness
  • Option for compression overload protection integral to the cell
  • Proprietary strain gages
  • Customization

One process step that is standard in the LowProfile series is the adjustment to extraneous load sensitivity. Although the design itself cancels out the built of this sensitivity, Interface goes one step further and adjusts each cell to minimize it even more.

The Interface LowProfile Series is available in compression-only, tension and compression and calibration grade. There are high and low-capacity options, flange-style, amplified, as well as fatigue rated models. Various features are available through hundreds of configurations to accommodate the wide range of testing profiles, such as connectors, wireless, additional bridges, and overload protection.

The LowProfile Series has three major classifications: precision, ultra precision and fatigue rated. The basic construction of all the cells in the series is quite similar. The major differences are in the number of shear beams and the number of gages in the legs of the bridge.

LowProfile Precision Series: Standard capacities of the precision low profile designs can measure up to 2M lbf. The gaged sensors in every load cell are individually inspected and tested and certified to meet our rigid standards. With greater stiffness, respectable static error band specifications and resistance to extraneous loads, this is Interfaces number one line of products.  The standard 1200 is by far the most sought after low profile today.

1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Standard Series features:

  • Proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages
    Performance to .04%
    High output – to 4 mV/V
    0.0008%/°F (.0015%/°C) temperature effect on output
    Low deflection
    Shunt calibration
    Barometric compensation

This 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell standard model is available through our QuickShip48 expedited delivery service. Click here to order now. For additional low profile capacities of the Model 1200 series, base options, connectors, bridge options and overload protection availability, go here for the specifications datasheet, model options, drawings and technical specifications.

LowProfile Ultra Precision Series: Engineers at Interface designed this series to meet the demands of sophisticated testing labs with precision performance in the critical parameters such as static error band, non-linearity, hysteresis, non-repeatability, and extraneous load sensitivity. The models in the 1100 Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cell are the most popular of this design.

LowProfile Fatigue Rated Series: This series guarantees fatigue life of 100 million fully reversed load cycles.  This series has tighter specifications on resistance to extraneous loads and offers stiffer compliance. Interface’s fatigue rated load cells typically have static overload rating of 300% in both tension and compression modes. Originally designed for aerospace testing, the Interface 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile® Load Cell are the most used fatigue-rated low profiles.

Interface also provides very high-grade low profiles for calibration. The LowProfile Gold Standard Calibration Series: Interface sets the standard in precision load cells. The model 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell are uniquely designed for calibrating other load cells to the highest levels of quality and accuracy used in test and measurement. The Interface Model 1600 provides both tension and compression in one unit. It also has the options for a second and third bridge, as well as overload protection.

1600 Gold Standard® LowProfile® Tension and Compression Load Cell Standard Series features:
• 0.01% creep
• High Output to 4 mV/V
• High-Precision Installed Base
• ±0.0008%/˚F Max Temperature Effect on Output
• Low Deflection
• Shunt Calibration
• Barometric Compensation
• Calibration Adapter
• 3-Run NIST Traceable ASTM E74 Calibrations
• 4% Lower Load Limit per ASTM E74

Low profile load cells are used for all types of testing. There are many options and designs available as standard models. We also provide engineered to order, custom and OEM solutions for all our load cells. As with all our standard load cells, we do offer various capacities, modifications, and custom options.

One thing that is for certain, the Interface LowProfile is a standard across the force measurement industry. They are common in testing rigs, designed in as components, often found in the best metrology labs throughout the world.  Industry leaders in manufacturing, aerospace, automation, food processing, medical and biosciences, energy and transportation choose LowProfiles for the meticulousness required in high-performance force measurement testing.