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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

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 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