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Basics on Load Cell Base Kits

As resilient and accurate as load cells are engineered, there is risk of damaging a load cell if they are not properly supported through mounting or mating to the test subject or test bench.

Load cell bases are designed to support and stabilize load cells. Load cell bases come in assorted sizes and configurations, depending on the intended application and the weight capacity.

Load cell bases are used with load cells that are frequently utilized in industrial equipment, test machines, and commercial testing labs. They may also be integrated into several types of equipment, such as weighbridges, conveyor systems, structural test stands, and packaging machines.

Interface publishes numerous guides on properly supporting a load cell during a test. However, for our LowProfile™ load cells, we provide complete Load Cell Base Kits to provide the engineered accuracy and necessary support for precision performance as intended in regular use. Bases minimize risks in damaging load cells from improper use.

Load cells with positive overload protection must be ordered with an Interface installed base. The positive overload option is useful when high overloads occur in applications such as: impact loads on weighing platforms; engine malfunctions during rocket or jet engine testing; transient overloads on engine dynamometers.

Interface’s Load Cell Base Kits are a type of mounting plate guaranteed to provide optimum support for the flexure. Using the base, or a support surface with its equivalent flatness and stability, is required to ensure the exceptional performance. They are heat treated and high strength bases, available in all standard sizes of our low profile models.

Standard thread size is the same as the mating load cell. Bases or flat mounting surfaces are required for all low profile load cell installations. A mounting surface that is flat to 0.0002″ T.I.R. (total indicator reading) is required, unless a base is installed.

Use of the base, or a support surface with its equivalent flatness and stability, is required to ensure the exceptional performance of the LowProfile® Series.

The threaded hole in the base is on center, and a plug is permanently installed to seal dirt and moisture out of the space between the bottom hub of the flexure and the flat surface of the base. Center hub deflects under the load until it contacts the base which provides positive overload protection. The center tapped hole is sealed to keep overload surfaces clean.

When the base and load cell are ordered together, the base and plug are factory installed using the proper hardware tightened to the required torque specs. A plug is supplied in between the cell and the base to prevent damage or errors caused by over engagement of mating parts.

There are 14 model options in standard Load Cell Base Kits in both U.S. and Metric Threads. They are available for our standard 1000, 1100 and 1200 Load Cell Series of various capacities. We offer 15 stainless steel model options to be paired with our 2400 and 3200 Load Cell Series.

Load Cell Base Kits are an excellent accessory to ensuring the most out of your LowProfile Load Cells provide the performance as designed. For complete instructions on installations, please reference our Support section on the website.

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Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface’s event, Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions, details various transducers, instrumentation and accessories that are designed to withstand environmental stresses and harsh conditions.

The types of testing use case that require ruggedized solutions are material testing, high and low temperature environments, structural and fatigue tests, high cycle count tests, any test for products exposure to moisture or humidity, pressure tests, as well as underwater and in-fluid tests. As noted, this applies to every industry, including maritime, aerospace, food packaging, consumer products, construction, medical devices and automotive.

Interface considers ruggedization as force measurement solutions designed and fabricated for use in extreme environments and applications, ability to operate within accuracy specifications while withstanding one or more environmental stresses or harsh conditions.

During this event, Ken Bishop and Elliot Speidell details the top factors when evaluating test and measurement products used in extreme environments, such as exposure to high or low temperatures, depth of submersion, moisture and water concerts, dust, and other harsh conditions. They present key questions to answer when evaluating your testing requirements, as well as top considerations.

These important evaluation subjects and ruggedized product factors are based on years of experience in collaborating with companies around the world. They define use cases and actual examples of Interface load pins, instrumentation, stainless steel load cells, enclosures and accessories used in all types of harsh and even hazardous environments.

Here is a quick preview of all the topics thoroughly discussed during this event.

  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test & Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products

The entire online seminar is now available on-demand. Watch it here.

Top Selling Interface Ruggedized Products

These types of products follow strict certification standards and ratings. During the online seminar, Interface product experts detail the standards and ratings related to intrinsically safe products, sometimes referred to as hazardous location use, as well as solutions designed to meet safety, regulatory or compliance requirements.

The standard ensures that an intrinsically safe device is incapable of triggering combustion or igniting any gasses or vapors. The device is safe to use around dust and gas without risking static electricity or heat discharge from the device igniting the surrounding volatile gasses, powders, and liquids.  Explosion proof applies to a device enclosed in a case that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion.  Should there be an explosion, it will be contained within the enclosure.

Interface offers products with different IP ratings, including IP66, IP67 and IP68 applied to different transducers and instrumentation. Ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.

  • IP65 – Dust-tight, protected against water jets
  • IP66 – Dust-tight, protected against powerful water jets
  • IP67 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of temporary submersion in water
  • IP68 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

What is the difference between IP66 and IP68? IP68 enclosures also provide dust-tight performance against solids. However, they are also rated for significantly better defense against water ingress than an IP66 enclosure. An IP68 enclosure can withstand submersion for over 30-minutes at up to a specified water depth.

Interface also has a range of instrumentation products that are NEMA, and IP rated based on the enclosure and housing designs.  These include:

Interface offers standard and customized solutions. Contact our application engineers to discuss your options and how to ensure you have the right product to match the conditions of our test and measurement environment.

Stainless Steel Load Cells 101

Different materials are used in designing and building force sensing products based on the environmental conditions. The choice of materials is important when considering specifications, test and measurement environment, and use case. One of the best metals for keeping environmental factors away from the electronics of a load cell is stainless steel.

The three main metals used in making load cells and other force sensing products is aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. The output signal performance for stainless steel load cells is in the middle of steel and aluminum standards.

The main benefit of stainless steel is the fact it is the best material to use in a corrosive environment because of the metal’s environmental resistance properties. The downside to stainless steel is that it is a bit more difficult to machine; however, it does only require a simple heat treatment process. It is also the most expensive metal of the three and has the highest hysteresis.

Why choose stainless steel over the more cost-effective steel and aluminum options, especially when it is not the strongest or provide the best signal output? Interface recommends stainless steel when the user needs to collect data from a load cell in a hazardous environment or under harsh conditions.

Interface offers stainless steel sensors as part of our hermetically sealed ruggedized load cell product lines. We make stainless steel load cells of all sizes and capacities, including stainless steel miniature load cells, load washers, and customized load pins. Using stainless steel not only keeps users safe, but it also allows for high-quality, accuracy and reliability in extreme environments.

These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that our products are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of those working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.

Some of our stainless-steel load cell options include:

To help keep individuals and workplaces safe, manufacturers create tools and equipment that are protected from the elements in these environments and will not expose electronics to hazardous environments. Interface’s contribution to this is our ruggedized load cells, many of which are made with stainless steel materials due to its strength in these harsh environments. We also carry a specialized line of intrinsically safe products.

There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that design solutions for or work in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. The solutions they use to measure force must provide the type of specifications that are suited for these types of conditions.

To learn more about these products, join the conversation Ruggedized Solutions for Test & Measurement, where we discuss:

  • Defining Ruggedized
  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test and Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products
  • Do’s + Don’ts
  • FAQs

This is a live event that takes place Tuesday, November 15, 2022. To register or get a copy of the recorded event, go here.