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New Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

Interface multi-axis sensors have multiple benefits for test and measurement applications. Beyond providing more data, they consolidate measurement signals and conserve test space.

Interface multi-axis sensors are like other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined flexures. Each bridge typically defines a measurement axis. Interface offers multiple configurations for 2, 3, or 6-axis options: axial and torque, axial and shear, axial and moment, and all six degrees.

Most force and torque sensors are bidirectional, tension, and compression. Many sensors can be dual or triple-bridge for dedicated or redundant signals. These types of load cells output the same signal and direction of measurement.

Uniquely, multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. Interface multi-axis sensors are designed to provide a complete picture of the test article by quantifying reaction loads through the test article on the “non-measure” side.

These specialized load cells are used in various applications across industries, including aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical device research. These sensors are specifically designed for applications requiring measuring moment and axial loads to determine the center of gravity or misalignment. They are used for tests requiring simultaneous force and torque monitoring, such as bearing test and material test machines, rheometry test machines for rubber testing, or continuous stress testing of equipment like pumps and master key systems. The multi-axis sensor offers better fatigue testing through setup and load verification.

Below is a demonstration using Interface’s 6-Axis Sensor with our BX8 to measure the precise movements of a robotic hand.

For additional information on this type of application, check out Manufacturing: 6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm and Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life.

Selecting a Multi-Axis Sensor

To find the suitable multi-axis sensor for your unique requirements, Interface’s latest resource guide is a versatile reference to compare the sensor types, features, capabilities, and options. The Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide lets you quickly evaluate the various sensor types based on whether you need a 2-axis, 3-axis, or 6-axis. Reviewing the products based on features and capabilities is easy, including tension and compression, axial torsion, force and torque, side and radial force, compact, temperature compensated, moment compensated, flange mount, or a center through hole.

This new resourceful tool also helps in reviewing various options, including connector protection, connector options, standardized output, TEDS, CANbus, internal shunt cal, custom calibration, multiple bridges, special threads, dual-diaphragm, special temperature range, cable length, and more.

How the Multi-Axis Selection Guide Works

GO TO: Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

STEP ONE: Select the Number Of Axis You Want to Measure

STEP TWO: Identify Multi-Axis Sensor Features And Capabilities

  • Axial Torsion
  • Center Through Hole
  • Compact
  • Flange Mount
  • Force and Torque
  • High Capacity
  • Moment Compensated
  • Side and Radial Force
  • Temperature Compensated
  • Tension and Compression

STEP THREE: Choose the Multi-Axis Sensor Options

  • Active output ±10V
  • Active output ±5V
  • Add a connector to a cable
  • Cable length
  • CANbus
  • Connector options
  • Connector protection
  • Custom calibration
  • Dual diaphragm
  • Integrated speed and angle measurements option
  • Internal Shunt Cal
  • Mating cable assembly
  • Multiple bridges
  • Special temperature range
  • Special threads
  • Special versions on request
  • Speed up to 3000 rpm
  • Standardized output
  • TEDS

Interface a range of resources related to our multi-axis sensors.  Here is a recent webinar that helps give you a background on these sensors and applications and technical tips.

TIP: Find all of the Interface product guides here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Multi-Axis Sensors Product Brochure

Enhancing Structural Testing with Multi-Axis Load Cells

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Enhancing Friction Testing with Multi-Axis Sensors

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors – An Interface-Hosted Forum

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Brochure: BX8 and 6-Axis

Interface Supports Wind Tunnel Testing

In the development of an airborne vehicle, like a plane or helicopter, wind tunnel systems are used to gather data across a variety of tests related to the aerodynamics of the vehicle’s design. Whether an object is stationary or mobile, wind tunnels provide insight into the effects of air as it moves over or around the test model. Interface is a supplier of measurement solutions used for aircraft and wind tunnel testing.

Wind tunnels are chambers that test small scale model versions of full systems, or in some cases, parts and components, depending on the size and capabilities of the wind tunnel. They work by allowing the engineers to control airflow within the tunnel and simulate the types of wind force that airplanes and other aircraft will experience in flight. Wind tunnels are also used for testing automobiles, bicycles, drones and space vehicles.

By taking careful measurements of the forces on the model, the engineer can predict the forces on the full-scale aircraft. And by using special diagnostic techniques, the engineer can better understand and improve the performance of the aircraft.

The process for measuring the force and how it reacts to this force works by mounting the model in the wind tunnel on a force balance or test stand. The output is a signal that is related to the forces and moments on the model. Balances can be used to measure both the lift and drag forces. The balance must be calibrated against a known value of the force before, and sometimes during, the test.

Interface’s strain gage load cells are commonly used in wind tunnel testing due to their quality, accuracy and reliability. The instrumentation requirements often depend on the application and type of test. The range of options for both load cells and instrumentation vary based on scale, use, cycle counts, and data requirements.

Instrumentation used in wind tunnel testing can be as simple as our 9325 Portable Sensor Display to a multi-channel data acquisition system. Interface analog, digital and wireless instrumentation solutions provide a range of possibilities. As is the case, wind tunnel testing is typically very sensitive. It is important to calibrate the instrumentation before each test to measurement accuracy.

Types of Wind Tunnel Tests Using Force Measurement Solutions

  • Lift and drag: Load cells are used to measure the two most significant forces that impact aircraft design. Lift is the force that acts perpendicular to the direction of airflow and keeps the craft airborne. Drag is the force that acts parallel to the direction of airflow and opposes forward motion.
  • Side force: This force acts perpendicular to both the direction of airflow and the lift force. It is caused by the difference in pressure between the upper and lower surfaces of the aircraft.
  • Moments: Moments are the forces that act around a point. The most common moments measured in wind tunnels are the pitching moment, the yawing moment, and the rolling moment.
  • Stability and control: Tests conducted to measure the stability and controllability of an aircraft are commonly using force measurement solutions for aircraft design changes or integrating new parts into an existing model.
  • Performance: Particularly important with new designs, engineers use these tests to measure the simulated flight performance under maximum speed, range and fuel efficiency.

The specific tests that are conducted in a wind tunnel depend on the project requirements.

Multi-Axis Sensors for Wind Tunnel Testing Applications

In measuring the forces of a wind tunnel test, multi-axis sensors offer the perfect solution for collecting as much data as possible across every axis, giving the engineer a more complete picture on the aerodynamics of the plane. In fact, Interface has supplied multi-axis load cells for use in several wind tunnel testing applications, for OEMs, testing facilities and part makers.

We offer a variety of multi-axis options including 2, 3 and 6-axis standard and high-capacity configurations depending on testing and data requirements of the user. These sensors can precisely measure the applied force from one direction with little or no crosstalk from the force or moment. Interface products provide excellent performance and accuracy in force and torque measurement.

To match the demands of the volumes of data available using multi-axis sensors in wind tunnel testing, Interface often provides several data acquisition instrumentation solution along with our BlueDAQ software.

Wind Tunnel Test Application

A major aerospace company was developing a new airplane and needed to test their scaled model for aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, by measuring loads created by lift and drag. Interface Model 6A154 6-Axis Load Cell was mounted in the floor of the wind tunnel and connected to the scaled model by a stalk. The wind tunnel blew air over the scaled model creating lift and drag, which was measured and compared to the theoretical airplane models. The output of the 6-axis sensor was connected to the BX8-AS Interface BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System, which was connected via USB cable to a computer. Using this solution, the company was able to analyze the collected data and made the necessary adjustments in their design to improve the aerodynamics of their theoretical airplane models.

Interface supports wind tunnel testing and all uses of force measurement in the advancements in aeropspace.

Wind tunnel testing is critical to the aircraft industry, as well as other industries like automotive and space. Interface has been providing multi-axis sensors and strain gage load cells to industry leaders and wind tunnel operators. We understand the unique needs of this type of testing and the instrumentation options that work best with our high-accuracy sensors. We also can work to provide custom solutions, load cells for use in extreme environmental conditions. Contact us to get the right solution for your specific testing program.

Additional Resources

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

Airplane Jacking System

Interface Airplane Static Testing Case Study

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control App Note

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

 

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

By combining the measurements from multiple axes, multi-axis sensors provide a better assessment of an object’s motion or orientation in three-dimensional space. Measuring the changes in resistance or output voltage from the sensing elements along multiple axes, multi-axis load cells can accurately determine the forces acting on them. The combination of the signals from different axes provides a comprehensive understanding of the force distribution, enabling engineers to analyze and optimize designs, evaluate structural integrity, and ensure safe and efficient operation in various applications.

Multi-axis load cells have significant advantages and provide valuable benefits in testing labs. The top reason to use multi-axis sensors is to get more measurement data. The data provided when using a 2, 3 or 6-Axis load cell is used in various applications, including robotics, space projects, virtual reality, motion tracking, navigation systems, and innovative consumer products.

Engineers and product designers prefer multi-axis load cells for several reasons. Multi-axis load cells enable engineers and designers to capture forces along multiple directions simultaneously. This capability is particularly beneficial when dealing with complex and multidirectional forces, which are common in real-world applications. By obtaining a complete understanding of how forces act on a structure or product, engineers can design more robust and optimized solutions.

The Promises of Multi-Axis Sensors

  • Comprehensive force measurement and better data analysis: Multi-axis load cells enable precise measurement of forces in multiple directions simultaneously. Multi-axis load cells provide richer and more comprehensive data for analysis. The data is valuable for evaluating structural integrity, load distribution, and performance characteristics of a design.
  • Compact size with robust capabilities: Smaller sensors with digital outputs are easier and less expensive to permanently install into their machines. Size impacts the install, testing and monitoring. Multi-axis sensors are best embedded into products for a real-world application that needs the data, while reducing the number of single load cells and overall size of a product.
  • Increased accuracy and reliability: Multi-axis sensors track performance and reliability better than traditional sensors with more measurements in more directions, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of test results. They provide a more complete understanding of how forces are distributed and interact within a structure, helping researchers and engineers make informed decisions based on reliable data.
  • Wide range of applications: Multi-axis sensors are needed to keep up with modern technologies and application requirements. Multi-axis load cells are used in various testing scenarios, including materials testing, structural testing, product development, and quality control. They are used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, civil engineering, and more. As technology advances and testing requirements become more sophisticated, the demand for multi-axis load cells is likely to grow.
  • Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: A single multi-axis load cell can replace multiple sensors. This consolidation simplifies the testing setup, reduces complexity, and lowers costs. Multi-axis sensors maximize return on investment for testing devices.
  • Enhanced testing capabilities: Multi-axis load cells enable more advanced testing procedures. Digitized sensor information allows for remote monitoring increased analytics, easy access and data collection. This expands the range of tests that can be performed and provides more comprehensive data for analysis and evaluation.
  • Saving space in testing: Using a single multi-axis load cell saves physical space in the testing. This is particularly important in situations where space limited or when performing tests in confined environments. By reducing the footprint of the load cell setup, engineers and designers can optimize the use of their workspace.
  • Simplifying set-up: Using a single multi-axis load cell simplifies the testing setup compared to using multiple single-axis load cells. It reduces the number of sensors, cables, and connections required, leading to a streamlined testing process. This simplicity improves efficiency, saves time, and reduces the chances of errors associated with multiple sensors and connections.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Models

2-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 2-Axis Load Cells measure any two forces or torques simultaneously, have minimal crosstalk, are standard off-the-shelf and are high accuracy sensors.

3-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Options include:

6-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.

Interface continues to add to our product line of advanced multi-axis sensors. Read New Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells to see our latest model additions.

The future of multi-axis is evolving in versatility for various system level health monitoring for products and components. Data is valuable now and in the future. These sensors enable test engineers to collect more data now for future analysis. For example, an automotive electronics manufacturer could limit recall to only parts that match extremely specific build criteria based on the detailed sensor data that is captured and stored during product evaluations and testing.

The outlook for multi-axis load cells is promising. Their ability to provide comprehensive force measurement, improve efficiency, and enhance testing capabilities makes them a valuable tool for researchers, engineers, and quality assurance professionals. With ongoing advancements in sensor technology and increasing demand for precise and reliable testing, multi-axis load cells are expected to play a crucial role in the future of testing labs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Using Multi-Axis Sensors To Bring Robotics To Life

Mounting Tips For Multi-Axis Sensors

BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System For Multi-Axis Sensors With Lab Enclosure

Enhancing Friction Testing With Multi-Axis Sensors

Recap Of Inventive Multi-Axis And Instrumentation Webinar

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Understanding best practices for mounting is critical to collecting accurate data, especially when it comes to multi-axis load cell solutions. As more testing engineers choose multi-axis sensors for the benefits of additional data, it is important to note that  improper mounting can cause multiple axis to be unaligned and skew the data across the various axis you are measuring.

In follow-up to our webinar, Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar, here are some valuable reminders on how to properly mount both 3-Axis and 6-Axis load cells to gather the most accurate and reliable data for any test and measurement application.

The first thing to understand is there are certain mounting considerations that are important across every type of multi-axis sensors. These considerations begin with understanding the relationship between the sensor and mounting hardware. The sensor is made up of the electronic internals of a load cell, while the mounting hardware is comprised of plating that needs to align with the test system.

The next thing to understand is that deflections in the system introduce errors and apparent crosstalk. To avoid deflections, plates and fixtures used in mounting must be stiff enough to avoid deflections. The best way to understand this is to try and emulate how stiff the plating was when the sensor was calibrated, this will help you understand how stiff you need the plate to be in the testing application.

Finally, every single multi-axis sensor model also comes with unique mounting instructions, so be sure to consult the written instructions if you have questions. When it comes to mounting instructions for our products, Interface publishes all mounting instructions online.

Mounting instructions provide information on the class of hardware for mounting, as well as important data such as the torque on the dowel pins, for cases that include dowel pins.

For 3-axis mounting, we provide assembly instructions for each type of load cell available. For example, the assembly instructions pictured on the far left shows a 3-Axis sensor with four threaded mounting holes on the top surface and two dowels that should be used to avoid the plate slipping. The dowel pins are crucial to aligning the axis. The instructions also show mating services which are identified with arrows or hash marks.

The 6-axis mounting hardware is a bit different in that there are more holes in the mounting plates and fixtures for dowel pins, which stop the mounting plate from deforming or bending because this can cause inaccuracies in data. Additional mounting locations are necessary to securing the plates and fixtures.

Considerations for 6-axis mounting include the potential need to use a double-plate mounting arrangement, the plates must be suitably thick, the plates must have the same material as sensor for thermal matching, and flat and smooth mounting plate surfaces are preferred. The example here shows some of the features mentioned above.

We hope this simple guide will provide you with the information you need to get the most out of your multi-axis sensors. If you are ever unsure about any details within the mounting process for multi-axis sensors, feel free to contact Interface for support or questions about any multi-axis products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors; An Interface Hosted Forum

Interface Sensor Mounting and Force Plates

Mounting Plates

3Axis-Mounting-Instructions

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

The Interface ForceLeaders hosted forums are designed to answer frequently asked questions from testing engineers and product designers about new technologies and uses cases. In our recent virtual event, Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors, we discussed the considerations for these types of sensors, the test and measurement benefits, products Interface offers and various applications.

Interface recognizes that there are growing demands for multi-axis sensors.  In our hosted event, Interface’s Brian Peters kicked-off the conversation by highlighting benefits and reasoning for the use of these types of sensors, including answering some common questions. We’ve provided a recap of the event below or you can watch the event here https://youtu.be/zua1lvTh488.

What is Unique about Multi-Axis Sensors?

Multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. They are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. Fundamentally similar to other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined “flexures,” each bridge typically defines a measurement axis. 

There are multiple configurations of 2, 3, or 6-axis options.

  • Axial + Torque
  • Axial + Shear
  • Axial + Moment
  • All 6 degrees of freedom

Should You Use Multi-Axis Sensors?

The largest factor to consider is the accuracy of your test model. In many test applications using standard load cells we often notice side or eccentric load, which can skew your data. While many Interface load cells, particularly mini load cells, have been designed to reject indirect loads, nothing can handle side and eccentric loads quite like a multi-axis sensor. Dedicated multi-axis designs are typically more balanced axis capacity limits with discrete signal outputs. Composite signal outputs are common in 6-axis models.

What are the Benefits of Multi-Axis Sensor Technology?

There are a number of benefits to using multi-axis sensors in addition to accounting for and accurately measuring or rejecting side and eccentric load. These benefits include:

  • Consolidate measurement signals, conserve test space
  • Measure unwanted system crosstalk
  • Quantify reaction loads through test article on “non-measure” side 
  • More successful fatigue testing through setup and load verification
  • More data, more understanding, more complete picture

What Considerations Should Engineer Make When Using Multi-Axis Sensors?

If you’ve made the decision to utilize a multi-axis sensor in your test model, please note the following considerations:

  • System-level loads and geometry
  • Maximum loading conditions
  • Chosen capacity is adequate for measurement loads as well as potential peak or extraneous loads
  • Choosing the right sensor based on primary axis measurements

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Products

Ken Bishop details various types of multi-axis sensor technology from Interface during the highlighted ForceLeaders event you can watch here.  Interface offers a wide range of multi-axis sensors, including 3-axis, 6-axis, axial torsion and 2-axis versions. The product options give you the ability to measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes.

AXIAL TORSION LOAD CELLS

Interface’s axial torsion load cell is used for measuring both torque and force in a single sensor. Typical applications of its axial torsion transducer include bearing test and material test machines. The features of our axial torsion load cell include minimal cross talk, extraneous load resistance, and the load cell is fatigue rated. Customers can also add the following options: an integral cable, compression overload protection, and connector protectors.

2-AXIS LOAD CELLS

The Interface 2-Axis load cells can measure in two directions, X and Y simultaneously. It is commonly used in applications where dual-axis measurement is important in design and testing. They are effective for applications that measure lateral forces and the narrow design fits into compact areas.

2-Axis Interface Products:

3-AXIS LOAD CELLS

Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Each axis provides a unique mV/V output and requires no mathematical manipulation. The 3-axis load cell is built to minimize eccentric loading effects and crosstalk between axes. We offer five different models in its 3A Series 3-axis load cell designed for a wide variety of capacities. They are compact in size, provide 3 full bridge mV/V outputs with an IP68 option.

3-Axis Products:

6-AXIS LOAD CELLS

Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. An 8-channel amplifier with a USB PC interface is also available which simplifies data analysis. The company offers five different models of 6-axis load cells for a wide variety of capacities. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.

6-Axis Products:

Keith Skidmore, an application expert at Interface, outlined a number of use cases spanning across multiple industries. They included testing programs using multi-axis sensors in automotive, medical, aerospace and defense, consumer packaging and more. Some of the application notes discussed during this recorded event include:

  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Aerospace structural and fatigue testing
  • Computer model validation
  • Friction testing
  • Medical device: ball socket testing
  • Prosthetics
  • Robotic arm
  • Hydrofoil
  • Seat testing
  • Center of gravity

Be sure to watch the YouTube video below to gain insight into some of the most frequently asked questions about multi-axis sensors.

We had a great time introducing our audience to the possibilities of Interface Multi-Axis Sensors. If you are interested in watching the video on demand of the webinar, you can click on the link below to watch the presentation in its entirety.

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

For more than 50 years, Interface has proven itself as the premier provider of load cells, with the most accurate and reliable products on the market. As the technical landscape has evolved, we have invested heavily in new technology to suit the growing needs of our customers. One of the most important innovations we’ve brought to market over the past few years is our lineup of wide-ranging multi-axis sensors.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensors are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors provide multiple bridges that precisely measure the applied force from one direction with minimal crosstalk from the other axes.

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor 3-Axis Load Cell

Interface offers 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cells, which provide the ultimate in force and torque measurement. We can measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes. In addition, we offer multiple data acquisition and amplifier systems which make graphing, logging and displaying data easy enough for any experience level.

Our customers work in a wide variety of industries, and we are continually seeing new applications of our range of multi-axis sensors. These sensors are used in aerospace, automotive, medical and more.

The following application examples provide a clearer picture of the benefit of this force measurement and sensor technology.

Rocket Structural Testing – In rocket and aerospace testing, there are a million different considerations to ensure a proper launch. One of the vital force tests that need to be conducted is on the connection between the rocket and the launch vehicle. There are force and moment in multiple directions at the connection point. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors can be used to test not only the strength of the connection but also ensure a safe disconnection between the rocket and launch vehicle.

Drone Testing – One of the most interesting applications of our multi-axis sensors is in the drone industry and in areas of urban mobility. Our sensors are used to test the drone’s rotor. The drone will always pull on the sensor to create the most significant force; however, there is also a slight amount of moment that needs to be accounted for. We were able to calibrate a semi-custom load cell to account for both the large pull force and the small moment force to provide the most accurate data possible.

Prosthetics – Another impressive application of our multi-axis sensor technology is in the medical industry. We helped to test the multiple force and torque data necessary to build a strong and reliable prosthetic knee joint and spine. Each of these prosthetics has multiple motions on many axes. To measure the quality of the prosthetic and to ensure it doesn’t fail when implanted in a patient, medical OEM’s need to be able to collect data on each of these axes simultaneously.

The need for measurements on multiple axes has grown over the last couple of years because of the desire to use big data to create better products. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors provide the accurate measurements our customers need and the ability to collect those measurements simultaneously, which has created a significant boost in efficiency.

To learn more about Interface’s expanding lineup of multi-axis sensors and data acquisition systems, please contact our team of experienced Application Engineers or visit /product-category/multi-axis-sensors/.

Contributor: Keith Skidmore, Regional Sales Director at Interface

Multi-Axis-Brochure

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

Have you ever tried to build a piece of furniture with half the tools necessary? It just doesn’t work. And this same problem occurs when you try to test and measure force and torque on complicated types of machinery like an aircraft assembly or advanced robotics on a single axis. In response to meet this complex force measurement need, Interface has developed a product line of 2-axis, 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cell sensors.

Data-driven design is at the forefront of product development, especially in highly-regulated markets like aerospace, medical and industrial. Interface’s multi-axis sensors are designed to provide the most comprehensive force and torque data points on advanced machinery. With our industry-leading reliability and accuracy, these multi-axis sensors are able to provide the data our customers need to ensure performance and safety in their product design.

To provide you with more insight, here’s an overview of Interface’s multi-axis sensors and their unique capabilities.

3-Axis Load Cells

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Each axis provides a unique mV/V output and requires no mathematical manipulation. The 3-axis load cell is built to minimize eccentric loading effects and crosstalk between axes. The company offers five different models in its 3A Series 3-axis load cell designed for a wide variety of capacities.

6-Axis Load Cells

Interface’s 6-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. An 8-channel amplifier with USB PC interface is also available which simplifies data analysis. The company offers five different models of 6-axis load cells for a wide variety of capacities.

Axial Torsion Load Cells

Interface’s axial torsion load cell is used for measuring both torque and force in a single sensor. Typical applications of its axial torsion transducer include bearing test and material test machines. The features of our axial torsion load cell include minimal cross talk, extraneous load resistance, and the load cell is fatigue rated. Customers can also add the following options, an integral cable, compression overload protection, and connector protector.

2-Axis Load Cells

Multi Axis Sensors AT102 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load CellThe Interface 2-axis load cells can measure in two directions, X and Y simultaneously. It is commonly used in applications where dual-axis measurement is important in design and testing.

Interface multi-axis load cells are ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as aerospace, robotics, automotive and medical research (orthopedics and biomechanical). In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic design via multi-axis testing. The automotive industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace applications.

As with all force measurement products available from Interface, we’re happy to work with you to provide a custom design. We can customize our products for varying capacities between X-Y and Z, higher temperature capability, or OEM and private labeling if needed.

For more information on Interface’s multi-axis sensors, visit our web product page or review our product brochure for detailed specifications on every product.

Multi-Axis Brochure_6-Page

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

The increasing consumer demand for smarter and more sophisticated products is transforming design practices. Data-driven design is now at the forefront of product development and has become the catalyst to the explosion of sensor technology. Engineers require an increasing number of sensors to measure every aspect of their product. In response to this market need, we have developed a family of Interface Multi-Axis Sensors.

The Interface Multi-Axis Sensors measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors can precisely measure the applied force from one direction with little or no cross-talk from the force or moment. Interface’s  3-axis6-axis, and axial torsion load cells provide excellent performance and accuracy in force and torque measurement.

“Our multi-axis sensors measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes.” Ken Bishop, Custom Solutions Director, Interface

The key advantages of Interface’s Multi-Axis Sensors are three-fold:

  1. The ease in which Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells can be set up and put in use provides a user-friendly experience. The software takes very complicated mathematics and presents it in a simple and understandable format. As an example, check out this quick video to see how easy it is to set up the 6-Axis to BX8-HD44.
  2. Interface products are known for accuracy and performance. The Interface Multi-Axis family of products provides the most accurate and comprehensive data readings on the market.
  3. Longevity is a common problem with most multi-axis Sensor products because of the various angles of stress the load cells endure. Interface products are built to last. The combination of robust design and strong materials ensure that Interface Multi-Axis Sensors remain in proper working order for longer than any similar device on the market.

Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells are ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical research (orthopedics and biomechanical). In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic design via multi-axis testing. The automotive industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace applications.

Interface is helping provide crucial data to global product engineers across all industries, which has never been available before. Our Multi-Axis Sensors have become a key component to optimizing designs in complex, multi-faceted products. With the data available today through Interface’s unique test and measurement products, engineers have the freedom to be more innovative in product design and development and meet the demands of consumers.

Read about our latest BX8 8-Channel Data Acquisition System and Amplifier and 6-Axis 6A Series 6-Axis Force and Torque Load Cell

An Interface customer ran into challenges when testing a new car seat by attempting to measure the force with a standard load cell rated at 550 pounds. After applying only 150 pounds of force, the load cells would break. While helping to troubleshoot the issue, Interface realized that the unique contour of the car seat was applying twist pressure that surpassed the standard load cells moment rating. Interface provided the customer with a 6-Axis Load Cell and they were able to measure the force on multiple-axis to optimize the car seat design. This is an example of a unique product development environment in which Interface Multi-Axis Sensors thrive.

By Ken Bishop, Custom Solutions Director, Interface