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Interface Airplane Static Testing Case Study

Interface is a preferred supplier of precision force measurement solutions for the aerospace industry and our products are frequently used to help perform critical testing on all types of commercial, industrial, and military aeronautical vehicles.

During the engineering and manufacturing of all types of aircraft, static testing is commonly used to validate designs and components, measure assembly and affirm performance and regulatory requirements. Accuracy and reliability of any type of sensor and instrumentation used during these tests is vital to the testing programs and ensures the safety for pilots, passengers and the public at large when these vehicles take flight.

What is a static test?

Static testing is a type of structural test which allows engineers to analyze an aircraft’s structural integrity while grounded. This is a useful part of the testing process before taking flight, which helps speed up the certification process as it does not require a completed and fully functional aircraft through the entire manufacturing process for aerospace vehicles.

How does Interface place a role in static testing for aircraft?

Our force measurement solutions such as precision load cells and torque transducers play an important role in static testing as force analysis results are used in nearly all structural tests. Interface manufacturers both off-the-shelf and custom solutions that are used by leading part and aircraft manufacturers. These sensor products are used on a static test stand to test frame structure integrity, endurance, and life cycles, with the goal generally being to validate aircraft design and ensure specified criteria are met. The strict accuracy is necessary because in aerospace, every micrometer and gram make a difference in both the performance and safety of an aircraft design.

Static Testing Applications for Airplane Jacking System and Jet Engine Thrust Tests

In the new Airplane Static Testing case study, we have detailed two application examples and how Interface products are specifically used in in static testing of aircraft. These examples demonstrate how our products are applied and utilized for testing an airplane jacking system and provide a solution for a jet engine thrust test.

In the airplane jacking system static testing application, our WTS 1200 LowProfile® Wireless Load Cells are placed on jack points measuring weights and forces on an aircraft. Our advanced Wireless Telemetry System provided instrumentation to capture real-time data, such as the individual load cells attached to each jack point, or any set alarms that may go off if it has exceeded a certain amount of force.

For the jet engine thrust static testing, Interface’s 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell was best suited for this static testing. The load cell reacted to the thrust forces produced by the jet engine and the signals were collected and recorded to create a “thrust curve” of the engine.

To read the Airplane Static Test case study it in full, go here.

To learn more about the many ways Interface can serve the aerospace industry with premium force products and total solutions, watch this video to see the types of products we supply for static and other test and measurement programs in this industry.

Additional Resources

Examining Interface Aerospace Industry Solutions

Aerospace Brochure

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

Aerospace and Defense Industry Solutions

Aerospace and Defense Case Study

 

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

As a top supplier of premium force measurement solutions for the aerospace industry, one of our critical areas requiring precision accuracy and high-quality products is for testing airplanes. Interface load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation are used regularly in testing of all types of aerospace apparatus, components, and machines, along with embedding our force sensors in aircraft for ongoing simulation tests and inflight data acquisition.

Aircraft, spacecraft, military, and defense companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream, NASA, and Cessna and many others in the supply and production lines utilize Interface load cells for thrust, wing, static, and fatigue testing. While structural test applications use many types of LowProfile™ load cells, Interface also offers a wide variety of load washers, load buttons and miniature tension and compression load cells for test, production, and control monitoring applications for aircraft.

Why do aircraft testing professionals prefer Interface solutions?  One reason is our moment and temperature compensated load cells use proprietary alloy strain gages for extreme accuracy and reliability that is unmatched by other brands. Using eight proprietary strain gages per sensor, our 4mV/V output well exceeds the performance requirements for testing these specialized aerospace vehicles.

In addition, before the airplanes are even assembled, every manufactured part and components must go through rigorous testing. There are hundreds of machines that are used on the production line for the hundreds of thousands of components needed to complete these specialized craft. Interface load cells and torque transducers are found on many of these production and test machines. Our products are used to provide a wealth of insight to guide manufacturers through research, development and final build. Because testing is so inherent for any of these parts, Interface products provide reliability and accuracy when there are no exceptions.

We recently developed several new application notes on ways our products are used to test airplanes. Included below is a preview of a few of the latest additions to our application notes catalog.

Jet Engine Thrust Test

A customer wanted to conduct a static jet engine thrust test that can accurately determine the engine’s thrust, burn time, chamber pressure, and other parameters, providing invaluable data to propellant chemists and engineers. They needed a high accuracy load cell with excellent repeatability to withstand thrust forces in very harsh environments. Interface offered a 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell, which is ideally suited based on their performance for this application. The load cell reacts to the thrust forces produced by the jet engine and the signals are collected and recorded to create a “thrust curve” of the engine. The performance of an Interface LowProfile™ Load Cell allowed the engineers to be confident in the data acquired from the static testing. Additionally, the repeatability of the load cell results in reduced time between tests, making static jet engine thrust testing more efficient. Read the new Jet Engine Thrust Test application note here.

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

An aircraft manufacturer wanted to measure the torque of their aircrafts yoke or control wheel. They also wanted to monitor the torque and forces applied to ensure that the aircrafts controls are operating properly. Interface suggested using the AT103 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell to measure both torque and force within this single sensor. It can be installed inside of the yoke, and can measure the rotation of the yoke, and the forward and backwards movements. Data can be measured and paired with the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module and displayed with the customer’s laptop. Using this solution, the customer was able to measure and monitor the torque and force of the yoke control. Read the Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement application note.

Aircraft Engine Hoist

An aerospace company wanted to test their aircraft engine hoist in order to safely lift, remove, or install engines efficiently and safety. Interface’s solution was to install WTSSHKB-HL Wireless Bow Shackles to the aircraft engine hoist. A heavy load was added to the hooks where the aircraft engine would be. Results from the heavy load are then sent wirelessly to both the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station attached to the customers computer or laptop, and the WTS-1-HS Handheld display for single transmitters. With these products, the customer was assured that the aircraft engine hoist was strong and secure enough to lift a heavy engine when installing or removing an engine inside of an aircraft. Learn more about the Aircraft Engine Hoist application here.

Our expert application engineers help our customers by providing technologies that provide exceedingly accurate measurement used in all types of testing, including structural, static and fatigue. For more information on Interface and its solutions designed for airplanes and other aerospace applications, please visit https://www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace.

Additional Aircraft Testing Resources

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control App Note

Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note

Examining Interface Aerospace Industry Solutions

 

Force Measurement Solutions for Bolt and Screw Fastening

Among the many applications of force measurement devices, one that appears to be a simple application can have a big impact on worker safety, productivity, waste reduction, assembly and product performance. In this new animated application note highlight, we take a look at the tools used for bolt fastening measurement.

Bolts and screws are used to secure different pieces or components together for nearly every product imaginable, especially when it comes to large machinery and even automobiles. The success of these products and the manufacturing of these components requires a strict level of detail that goes into the tightness of a bolt. It’s not like your typical “do it yourself” furniture where you just tighten a screw or bolt until you can’t anymore. The precision needed for certain objects to be tightened to the exact measurement is mandatory.

Interface provides measurement solutions for all types of industrial automation and toolset testing used in thousands of applications that ultimately are utilized in the building of products. In the example below, we provided devices that are used to determine the exact bolt force and tightness necessary. The goal of measuring the tightness is to avoid under or overtightening. As you can imagine, under tightening can cause components to come apart. However, over tightness can also cause significant damage to the pieces being bolted together.

Bolt Fastening Application

To show the process of measuring bolt tightness, check out this latest use case video demonstration.

For this bolt fastening application, the customer used an Interface Model LWCF Load Washer along with an Interface Model INF-USB3 Single Channel PC Interface Module to monitor force being applied during bolt tightening. The data transferred from the bolt clamping force load cell load washer with a thru-hole, to the instrumentation is displayed, logged and graphed directly onto a computer for analysis and performance testing.

This is a basic example of the test and measurement process, however, Interface also contributed to a number of real-world projects and created applications notes to provide an illustration. One of our favorites is when an industrial automation company was building an automated assembly machine for an automotive manufactur­ing plant.

The product engineers and testing team needed to tighten all of the head bolts on an engine on their assembly line to a specific torque value. Having the head bolts precisely and consistently tightened to the engine block is critical to the operation of the engine.

To measure this force, several Interface Model T33 Spindle Torque Transducers were installed in their new machine to control torque and angle and ensure the head bolt was properly tight­ened. The square drive of the T33 allowed the customer to fix their tool directly to the end of the torque sensor, streamlining the installation.

Using this solution, the head bolts were correctly installed according to manufacturer specifications, producing an engine that meets performance and reliability expectations of the auto manufacturing plant.

Here are additional solutions that showcase how Interface load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and custom solutions are used for various tools and manufacturing processes across various industries.

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

Fastening Work Bench

Bolt Fastening Force and Torque

Interface Solutions for Robotics and Industrial Automation

Contact us to learn more how we can help you ensure the right fastening and machine control for your next projects.

 

 

 

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense

Interface has developed highly innovative force measurement solutions for a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. These industries require the most accurate and reliable test and measurement equipment on the market because bad data and unknown variables can spell disaster. This fact has never been truer than it is in the aerospace and defense sector.

For our worldwide customers in aerospace, Interface supplies a variety of sensor solutions, including load cells, tension links, load shackles, wireless instrumentation and more. And Interface is a proud supplier to some of the world leading manufacturing aircraft, spacecraft, military, and defense organizations such as the U.S. Government, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Bombardier, Embraer, Boeing, Airbus Gulfstream, Cessna and more of the world’s most prominent (and well known) rocket builders.

To further highlight our work in the aerospace and defense industry, we’ve also put together a case study outlining, in detail, some of the specific applications in which force measurement sensors can be used. The case study dives deeper into three specific applications highlighting the products used for aircraft wing fatigue, aircraft engine hoist, and parachute deployment and deceleration testing.

READ: The new Aerospace & Defense Case Study can be read in full here.

As a premier partner to these and many other leading global aerospace and defense companies, we’ve seen a lot of high-profile applications which require both off-the-shelf and custom manufactured force solutions. Our engineers and application experts partner with our customers to ensure they get the product that fits the exact requirements, weather it’s a submersible sensor or built for extreme compression and fatigue condition tests.

Our precision load cells have been used on thousands of different projects, both big and small. From aircrafts to ground vehicles and infrastructure, here are a few examples of the projects we’ve supplied various load cells, from jumbo to mini, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, customized load pins and as well as wireless telemetry testing systems:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Exploring Aerospace Force Measurement Solutions Blog

Launching into Orbit with Interface

Force Measurement for Space Travel

 

Aerospace and Defense Industry Solutions

Among the many applications Interface products are used for across multiple markets, there may be none that require the highest levels of accuracy, quality and reliability as does the aerospace and defense industry.

By classification, aerospace largely comprises of those engaged in producing and servicing of commercial aircraft. The defense market is defined as those providing military weapons and systems designed to operate in the air, in the sea or on land.

The aerospace and defense industries are global markets that continue to expand their use of precision sensor technologies for advancing innovations in autonomous vehicles and flight systems, electric and hydrogen engines, as well additive manufacturing applications. Interface proudly serves the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers in the aerospace industry by providing world-class force and torque measurement solutions for these types of requirements, as well as for their future inventions.

Over the past two years, the trends in the global commercial space ecosystem along with defense needs have created unique requirements that benefit from our five decades of being a premium provider for A&D equipment manufacturers and testing labs. We are able to meet these trending demands through our standard, engineered to order and completely custom force, torque and systems. These solutions are being utilized in testing of all types of vehicles, on the ground, in the water, and for flight.

A&D is a unique industry because of the complex needs of many applications. When we develop applications for other industries, we’re typically focused on solving a few specific challenges, whether it’s related to cost, safety, performance, environment, or other engineering specified design requirements. In aerospace and defense, every one of these factors needs to be addressed, as well as some special needs. Applications in the aerospace and defense industry cannot fail. If they do, it can put people, both military and civilians, in danger. That’s why force products in the defense industry need to be of the highest quality in all key factors.

Below are a few applications for force measurement in the defense industry. Each demonstrates the criticality of proper force testing, as well as the complexity of the projects Interface has been involved in.

SLS Tank Test

As outlined in NASA’s article on the SLS Tank Test, NASA’s goal was to push the very limits of a test version of the world’s largest rocket fuel tank. The project put incredible flight test strain on the tank to try and push it to its breaking point. After five hours of testing and more than 260% of the expected flight load, the tank finally buckled. Doing this helped engineers gather data on the tank to help intelligently optimize the final rocket ship.

In this application, load cells played the key role of collecting the flight force data. The extreme nature of the flight tests meant that the load cells needed to be incredibly durable and provide accurate data all the way through the breaking point.

Structural Testing

For the many hundreds of thousands of commercial and military vehicles on the market, especially those that fly, there are numerous force tests involved to validate a design and ensure they’re safe and of the highest quality to move into production. Load cells and torque transducers are used across a wide variety of vehicles for structural testing. The torque of the helicopter rotor is measured and validated using a torque transducer, or the wings and hull of an airplane are put through wind tunnels and other stress tests with load cells installed to collect data. All of these force applications are critical to ensuring that these vehicles can last beyond their intended breaking point and offer complete peace of mind to operators and passengers. There are a million different things that a military pilot is thinking about – the structural integrity of his or her aircraft should never be one of them.

Custom Sensors

Another area that has grown in recent years as technology pushes the aerospace and defense market forward is custom sensors. Test has gotten more sophisticated as the move to big data becomes more prevalent, and Interface has addressed this by working directly with customers to develop custom sensors that address unique challenges.

One of the biggest areas where we have seen a growing need for custom sensors is on test stands in thrust application. Test stands are often used in field testing on rocket or plane engines. In certain field applications, the test stand is outfitted with numerous load cells that must be custom designed with features like weatherization, multiple bridges, very-high precision, and more. The reason for this is because the cost of a thrust test in fuel alone can be incredibly high. You usually only get one shot at a successful thrust test. If there are any issues with the sensor, it’s going to be costly.

Interface has deep experience developing custom sensors for our aerospace and defense partners. We understand their needs and work closely with their engineering team to ensure they get it right the first time. If you’re interested in learning more about Interface and our solutions for the aerospace and defense industry, please visit us at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace.

For additional references, check out our A&D related case studies and application notes:

Launching Into Orbit with Interface

Force Measurement for Space Travel

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Aircraft Wing Fatigue Test

Rocket Structural Test

Wind Tunnel Testing

Contributor: Elliot Speidell, Interface Regional Sales Director

Testing for Commercial Drones and Parcel Delivery

Drone parcel delivery, and the use of drones in general, has expanded rapidly throughout the world. A technology that was once relegated to science fiction and imagination is becoming a real-world asset and making a huge impact on many commercial use applications in military and defense, consumer goods, logistics and inventory management, industrial automation, construction, security, agriculture, healthcare, imaging and surveying, as well as shipping and fulfillment.

To give you an idea of the impact of drones, take a look at recent numbers published by the FAA on registered drones in the U.S.:

  • 1,710,159 Drones Registered
  • 495,909 Commercial Drones Registered
  • 1,210,751 Recreational Drones Registered
  • 195,346 Remote Pilots Certified

There is a significant role for test and measurement as well as embedded sensors in this growing industry, which is expected to reach of $6B in size in the next few years. Load cells play a huge part in the design and development of this specialized aircraft technology and ongoing monitoring while in flight. Drones are classified as unmanned aerial vehicles. Basically, an aircraft without a human pilot. Successful operation of a UAV is dependent on a system, including the vehicle, a ground-based controller, and communications components, all of which must pass rigorous performance testing standards and constant data feedback.

The knowledge and tools we apply to test and measure airplanes and spacecraft performance can be transferred at a smaller scale to drones. Drone OEMs need to collect data points on thrust and velocity in test, and they also need to collect real-time sensor data on drones in-use. In fact, a large variety of sensor types are used for drone applications, including: force sensors, gyroscopes, barometers, and accelerometers.

Most recreational drones have passed significant testing during the engineering and design phase to ensure safety for anyone on the ground. Early applications and adoption sparked immediate regulation and safety requirements. We are now seeing the fastest expansion of this technology into commercial use. The future of drone technology for wide-scale business use has several of the world’s largest companies engaged in expansive development and deployment in use of UAVs for package delivery, including Alphabet (Google), Amazon, UPS, CVS and Walmart.

Commercial applications require substantially more rigorous testing in all use cases, in particular for transportation of objects. Most developed countries have defined commercial use requirements and regulations, such as the FAA in the U.S. Not only is the safety of those on the ground important critical, so is protecting the value of the goods in transport.

In demonstrating how force measurement solutions are used with drone technology, Interface created animated application note showcasing how a force solution is necessary for real-time monitoring of drones used in the shipping and fulfillment markets. Testing beyond flight, there is a level of complexity present when you introduce the weight of a package to a drone.

DRONE TESTING USE CASE

Customer Challenge:

A customer approached Interface to deliver a force solution capable of weighing a “payload” and using that data in real-time to tell the propeller motors to compensate for weight shifting or uneven weight distribution. The purpose of the force solution was to help the drone lift the payload and fly normally to reach its destination.

Interface Force Measurement Solution:

To solve this challenge, Interface supplied four WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cells, which were used to measure the weight of the payload and detect weight shifting and distribution in flight. As shifting and uneven distribution occurred, the load cells send a signal to the necessary propeller motors to compensate.

How it Works:

The four miniature load cells are connected independently to each of the four landing gear legs. The load cells are then connected to the drone’s processor, which allows the load cell to communicate the weight of the payload and store the information. As the drone flies and weight shifts, the load cell can then relay the information to the processor in real-time so that the individual motors increase in RPM to balance the shifting weight.

Subscribe to Interface’s YouTube Channel to see our latest animated application notes. This new series of animated application notes give viewers a better sense of how force measurement products are applied to real-world challenges to collect and analyze data. So far, we have produced three animated application notes, which we have linked below:

 

Interface Forms Partnership with Manufacturers’ Representative Hill and Company

In a move that expands Interface’s ability and expertise in serving our customers across a wide range of industries in the Midwest, Interface today announced a new partnership with manufacturers’ representative Hill and Company.

Hill and Company brings more than 85 years of experience and expertise working with OEMs and other customers in the HVAC, computer, agriculture, defense, aircraft and electronic equipment industries to help solve technology-related challenges.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri with an expansive Midwest presence, the company will provide sales support for Interface, the leader in force measurement solutions, across Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Southern Illinois.

“Interface has long been known as a premium provider of the most accurate and reliable force measurement equipment in the industry,” said Ed Hill, president, Hill and Company. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to sell Interface products across the many industries we represent. Our history in the Midwest serving a wide variety of manufacturing operations, combined with our ability to bridge the gap between customer needs and products, will ensure our partnership with Interface remains long and mutually beneficial.”

Hill and Company was founded in 1933 by Nathan Hill. The product lines the company sells includes a wide range of electronic and software solutions, including electronic controls, circuit boards, thermostats, flash storage, motors, transformers, power supplies, relays, and wireless software. Its lineup will now include more than 36,000 force measurement products, services and custom solutions from Interface.

Hill and Company will focus its efforts for Interface on leveraging new and existing relationships with OEMs and other customers across the Midwest to offer force measurement solutions that meet their evolving needs for test and measurement, sensor technologies and components.

Hill and Company has built its reputation with long-standing in the region on consistency, reliability and a wealth of knowledge related to technology solutions to addresses their most complex challenges. Interface welcomes Hill and Company to our tightly-knit global sales network, and look forward to working with them and their customers to deliver value, experience and expertise in the form of highly reliable and accurate force measurement solutions.

To locate a representative or distributor of Interface products, click here.

 

Exploring Aerospace Force Measurement Solutions

The aerospace industry is responsible for some of the greatest inventions and innovation in our global history. The engineering and manufacturing of a single rocket engine design, using handwritten calculations and with less computing power than a modern smartphone, took us to the moon.

The NASA Parker Solar Probe is the culmination of some of the most impressive technology ever developed by mankind, journeying through the skies and beyond earth’s atmosphere with the ability to reach a top speed of 430,000 miles per hour.

The aerospace industry is an assembly of researchers, design houses, test labs and manufacturing companies that engineer and build vehicles to travel within and beyond Earth’s atmosphere. The range of aircraft and space vehicles include all types from unpowered gliders to commercial and military aircraft, as well as rockets, missiles, launch vehicles, and spacecraft. The term aerospace comes from the combination of the words aeronautics and spaceflight. All of these vehicles go through extensive and rigorous test and measurement programs and processes.

For more than half a decade, Interface has served some of the most prominent aerospace organizations in the nation including NASA, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and more. Our sensor technology has been used to design, test and manufacture airplane frames, wings, landing gear, rocket engines and even the machines that build the components for these products. These projects require the most precise data available, not only to ensure that the airplane or spaceship can fly and land, but more importantly to guarantee its safety for the pilot, crew and passengers.

Interface is humbled and proud to provide critical force measurement solutions and technology to the aerospace industry, in support of science, innovation and exploration.

Interface is often selected by our aerospace customers over the competition because we offer the most accurate and reliable force measurement products on the market. In this blog, we will be outlining how Interface serves the aerospace industry in validating designs, improving performance and maintain the highest safety possible.

AIRCRAFT

One of the most important tests to run in aircraft development is static and fatigue testing on the frame of the aircraft and the wings. Engineers will often simulate the effects of various forces on the aircraft and wings with actuators which act as of wind, weather, debris and more. Hundreds of Interface load cells are used to measure those forces to either validate the simulations or find errors in order to adjust the simulation and design accordingly. Load cells are also used on the machines controlling these forces in the test environment to ensure the actuators are simulating the right amount of force.

READ THIS APP NOTE FOR AIRCRAFT WING FATIGUE TESTING

ROCKETS

For a spacecraft that can weigh up to 1,000 tons, you need a lot of force to get it off the ground and safely out of the earth’s atmosphere. One of the ways that engineers test the thrust force of a rocket engine is with load cells. During these tests, the engine is attached under the mounting plate, which is part of a test stand. Interface load cells are installed between the plate and test stand and when the rocket thrust pushes up on the plate, the load cells relay the force data to the engineers. These tests help engineers make adjustments to the engine to use the precise amount of force to lift the craft into space, but not too much so that it doesn’t burn up too much fuel.

READ THIS CASE STUDY: LAUNCHING INTO ORBIT WITH INTERFACE

AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING

Before the air and spacecrafts are even assembled, the components need to be manufactured in a plant. There are hundreds of machines that are used on the production line for the hundreds of thousands of components needed to complete the craft. Interface load cells and torque transducers can be found on many of these machines. Not only are they used to help test the machines, they are also used to measure various forces on the machines in real-time. Our products are used to provide a wealth of insight to tell the manufacturers if the machine is working properly, needs to be recalibrated or needs repairs.

READ THIS APP NOTE FOR ROCKET STRUCTURAL TESTING

For more information on the numerous applications of Interface products in the aerospace and space industry, visit our solutions page at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace/. Here you can read application notes and browse the various products we offer for our customers.

To watch an actual aircraft structural, check out this great Airbus video of an actual test.

Contributor: Randy White, Regional Sales Director at Interface

Considerations for Fatigue-Rated Load Cells

There are many products that are made to serve a single or limited use. Needs for these types of products, often consumable, are immediate and buying decisions usually require limited research or comparisons. On the other end of the spectrum, there are products that need to be extremely reliable, durable, and built to last a long time. The buying decisions for these types of products often require more research to make certain they are highly rated, safe, and made from sturdy and reliable materials.

How do original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) determine how long a product should last with consistent use? What design decisions need to be made to improve product reliability? The answer is often found in the defined fatigue requirements of a product. In the test and measurement and design phase of a product, answers to these questions frequently require product and component testing with fatigue-rated load cells.

Fatigue is the weakening of a material caused by repeatedly applied loads. Similar to if you repeatedly bend a paper clip, it will eventually weaken and then break. The only way to test fatigue is to put prototypes of the product through stress tests for long periods of time or use an apparatus that tests the lifetime “wear and tear” in a few hours. The tool that reports the data gathered from stress tests is the load cell.

With Interface fatigue-rated load cells, designers and engineers can predict the time and force it will take for wear and tear to take its toll on their products. They can then create safety instructions for customers or redesign the product for better results.

Interface Model 1000 series is a portfolio of fatigue-rated low profile load cells with 300% safe overload, extremely low moment sensitivity of 0.1%/in and higher fatigue life. If you need to measure 1 pound (4.45N) or 1 million pounds (4500kN) of force, Interface fatigue-rated load cells are built for this type of testing.

Interface fatigue-rated load cells are designed for an operational life of in excess of 100 million fully reversed cycles.

It’s also important to note that Interface fatigue-rated load cells are based on fully reversed load cycles, which means they are rated for two directions. This type of loading cycle is considerably more stringent than unidirectional loading. It is the more common application of load cells. If a fatigue load cell is repeatedly loaded in only one direction, it can be loaded to about 133% of the bidirectional fatigue-rated capacity with no degradation of its fatigue rating.

Interface works with customers to provide our fatigue-rated load cells for products that can’t fail. It is our mission to ensure precision products are safe, reliable and durable. If they do fail, it could result in significant harm.

Two examples of products dependent on fatigue-rated load cells for testing are aircraft wings and furniture stability. In aircraft wing testing, load cells test the materials used to build the wings to ensure they are strong and lightweight. The load cells are also used in wind tunnels to test the stress of high winds on the wings over time. Safety protocols manufacturing for furniture products require fatigue testing, seat testing, shock testing, and proof testing. These tests must be rigorously performed before entering the marketplace.

Force testing simulations using fatigue-rated load cells help the manufacturer define max loads in order to protect manufacturers from liability due to damages resulting in the misuse or overloading of their products. These types of applications require the most accurate data available provided by our load cells to ensure that testing results produce a quality product that lasts.

Fatigue-rated load cells are one of the many Interface force measurement tools available to help customers develop quality products. For information on all of the load cells we provide, please visit www.interfaceforce.com/product-category/load-cells/.

Contributor:  Jay Bradley, Sr. Electrical Engineer, Interface