Posts

I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Episodes 3 and 4

Continuing our review of the popular webinar series, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What?, we are detailing the third and fourth episodes. The focus of these two installments is documentation that you should expect with every load cell and the fundamentals of load cell output.

Digging into documentation is an important subject for anyone that is buying or using load cells for test and measurement. It is also a differentiator in the quality and type of manufacturer that makes your device. The details provided in load cell documentation validates the characteristics and performance, as well as experience and craftmanship used in the engineering and construction of your load cell.

When quality and accuracy matters, documentation and certification are critical verification evidence.

Load Cell Documentation: Datasheets and Calibration Certificates

Interface provides detailed datasheets for every load cell model number. On the top of the datasheet, the Interface model number precedes the description of the load cell’s primary characteristics, such as 1200 Standard Load Cell. The Interface Calibration Certification accompanies every sensor device we manufacturer and ship from our U.S. headquarters, confirming the final condition prior to release. Interface calibrates every load cell we make before it leaves our facilities as part of our performance guarantee.

INTERFACE DATASHEET FUNDAMENTALS

  • Features and Benefits
  • Standard Configuration and Drawings
  • Dimensions
  • Specification Parameters Based on Model and Capacity
  • Detailed Measurement and Performance Data for Accuracy, Temperature, Electrical and Mechanical
  • Options
  • Connection Options
  • Accessories

Special note for datasheet reviews, the models that use the same form factor are often on the same datasheet with varying capacity measuring ranges in U.S. (lbf) and Metric (kN) information.  All Interface datasheets are available for review and download for every product we offer, including load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, mini load cells, load pins and load shackles, instrumentation and accessories.

INTERFACE CALIBRATION CERTIFICATES DETAILSIQ

  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Bridge and Capacity
  • Procedures
  • Input and Output Resistance
  • Zero Balance
  • Test Conditions: Temperature, Humidity and Excitation
  • Traceability
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Performance Test Data of Test Load Applied and Recorded Readings
  • Authorized Approval

The performance information detailed on the certificate is important for how it was calibrated, how it performed at release, system health checks and troubleshooting. Watch the episode #3 of I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? for additional information about datasheets and cal certs.

Fundamentals of Load Cell Output

Load cells are used in one of two ways, either universal (bipolar) or single mode (unipolar). Bipolar is for measuring tension and compression. Unipolar is for measuring either tension or compression. This use type will dictate what output you will get from the load cell. Most Interface load cells are a tension upscale device, which means you will get a positive output when it is placed in tension.

Standard load cells are usually unamplified mV/V ratio metric output. Interface does offer amplification signals for our load cells, which is a common request when pairing with a data acquisition system. In episode #4 of I’ve Got A Load Cell – Now What?, Elliot provides an example of mV/V ratio metric when using a 5000 lbf LowProfile Load Cell with our 9840 Instrumentation.

For questions about datasheets, calibration certifications or performance and capacities, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface 1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Series Product Highlight

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part Two

Understanding Load Cell Temperature Compensation

Load Cell Basics Sensor Specifications

 

Interface Recognized as Contributor to Human Flight Success

As a premium force measurement solutions provider, Interface load cells, torque transducers, and specialty products are frequently used by leading manufacturers, engineers, product designers and testing labs to drive innovation and industry advancements. Our products are utilized for developments and improvements in aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, industrial automation and more.

One of these industries that Interface has played a significant role in for decades as a solutions provider is the space industry. This includes providing products and services for designing and building space technologies like robotics and launch systems, as well as sensors for testing space qualified components, structures, satellites, observation equipment, space vehicles and more.

In our case study detailing our work with NASA, it is evident that our solutions for rockets and structural testing have been used by those advancing space exploration for many years.  In fact, aircraft, spacecraft, military, and defense companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream, Cessna and others have depended on Interface load cells for thrust, wing, static, fatigue testing and more. While structural test applications utilize many types of LowProfile™ load cells, Interface also provide a wide variety of load pins, load shackles, tension links, load washers, load button load cells and miniature tension and compression load cells for test, production, and control monitoring applications of vehicles and spacecraft.

We recently participated in the industry’s Space Tech Expo, demonstrating the products and services we provide to those that are designing and building spacecraft for sending people and cargo into orbit. We highlighted some of the solutions we detailed in these resources:

Rocket Structure Testing

Interface and The Race to Space

Force Measurement for Space Travel

Aerospace and Defense

Commercial space has also been a hot topic in recent years with technology titans creating their own space program to launch civilians into space. These organizations include SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and more. Interface has been tasked with helping to provide force measurement solutions for many of these companies. In fact, Interface was recently recognized by Blue Origin for contributing to their first sub-orbital launch with humans on board, the 16th New Shepard flight (NS-16).

With NS-16, Blue Origin successfully launched humans aboard the New Shepard 4 rocket. Its crew consisted of Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, 82 year old Wally Funk, and 18 year old Oliver Daemen. From launch to touchdown the crew’s official mission time was 10 minutes 10 seconds. The crew spent a few minutes in weightlessness and reached an altitude of 107 km (351,210 feet), similar to the previous test flights.

Interface received a special certificate and historic patch from Blue Origin for our participation in the first human flight. Notably, Blue Origin recognized Interface with the following statement:

Performance excellence is fundamental to the success of both our companies. We extend our sincere gratitude to the employees of Interface for demonstrating their dedication to the high-performance standards necessary to meet customer expectations.

Our work in the space industry is of great importance to us because it requires the highest level of quality and accuracy possible. Interface prides itself on developing solutions to meet any need and our ability to contribute to this launch and many of the other NASA or commercial launches around the nation is a testament to these capabilities.

To learn more about our work in space, visit our aerospace solutions page.

Solutions highlighted at Space Tech Expo 2021