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Do You Call it a Thru-hole, Donut, or Load Washer?

In the world of test and measurement, one load cell model that seems to garner a series of names is the thru-hole load cell. Is it a through-hole, thru-hole, donut, load washer, or force washer load cell?

The answer is all the above. Though the names may differ, the basic middle hole design feature is the same. These sensor model terms refer to the same cylindrical shape with a central hole. Regarding function, these load cells measure the force acting on an object through its center using strain gages to convert force into an electrical signal for measurement.

The difference is in size, capacity, and how you use the thru-hole sensor. Are you using it to measure force, weight, torque, or a combination of measurements using a thru-hole multi-axis sensor? What dimensions will fit your use case? What range of measurement capacity do you require for your application? Are you conducting single tests in a lab or integrating the sensor into an existing testing stand or product?

Thru-hole sensors are versatile, accurate, and compact solutions for various applications, making them a valuable tool for engineers and technicians. They offer high-precision measurements, ensuring reliable data collection for quality control and performance monitoring tasks. The compact size allows space-saving installation even in tight areas, making them ideal for applications with limited footprints, like robotic systems or custom machinery.

Diversity of Applications Using Thru-Hole Precision Sensors

  • Satellite Deployment during a spacecraft separation, equipped with LW Load Washers and SGA Signal ConditionerAerospace and Aviation: Thru-hole load cells are critical in aerospace and aviation applications for testing the structural integrity of aircraft components, such as wings, fuselage, and landing gear. They are also used in flight simulators for training purposes. Check out how our load washer load cell is used in a spacecraft test: Satellite Deployment.
  • Compression Testing: Thru-hole load cells are widely used in compression testing applications where forces must be accurately measured. This includes material testing, structural testing, and component testing.
  • Robotics: Thru-hole load cells are utilized in robotics applications for force sensing and control. They can be integrated into robotic arms and grippers to measure forces exerted during manipulation tasks, assembly processes, and material handling operations.
  • Brake caliper being tested with LW General Purpose Load Washer Load Cell, Customer PC with supplied SI-USB4 software and SI-USB4 4-Channel Interface ModuleAutomotive Testing: In the automotive industry, thru-hole load cells are employed for various testing purposes, including crash testing, durability testing, and component testing. They can measure forces exerted on vehicle components, such as suspension systems, brakes, and steering mechanisms. See: Brake Caliper Testing
  • Medical Device Testing: In medical device manufacturing, thru-hole load cells are utilized for testing the performance and durability of medical equipment, such as prosthetic limbs, orthopedic implants, and surgical instruments.
  • Material Handling Equipment: Thru-hole load cells are integrated into material handling equipment, such as cranes, hoists, and lifts, to monitor and control lifting forces. They ensure safe and efficient material handling operations in the construction, manufacturing, and logistics industries.
  • Geotechnical and Civil Engineering: Thru-hole load cells are used in geotechnical and civil engineering applications for soil and rock testing, pile load testing, and structural monitoring. They provide valuable data for assessing the stability and integrity of foundations, retaining walls, and other structures.
  • Industrial Automation: Thru-hole load cells are essential for process control, quality assurance, and safety monitoring in industrial automation systems. They are integrated into machinery and equipment to measure forces and torque during manufacturing, assembly, and material processing. Check out this thru-hole torque application: Chemical Reaction-Mixing
  • Measuring bolt tension: Thru-hole load cells can measure the force applied to a bolt to ensure it is properly tightened. This is important in applications where a loose bolt could lead to a safety hazard or equipment failure. See: Bolt Tension Monitoring
  • Monitoring press forces: Thru-hole load cells can be used to monitor the force applied by a press to ensure that it does not exceed the capacity of the press or damage the material being pressed.
  • Weighing systems: Thru-hole load cells can be used in weighing systems to measure the weight of an object. They can be used in various applications, such as conveyor belts and truck and tank scales.

Interface Thru-Hole Load Washer Load Cells

The Interface Load Washer Load Cells are donut-shaped sensors using advanced strain gage technology to measure compressive forces precisely.

Their center-hole design makes them ideal for scenarios involving bolts, fasteners, and clamping applications and for environments with minimal space. The thru-hole load washer load cells are relatively easy to install, especially in applications that need integration into existing systems or structures. Their design allows for straightforward mounting and connection.

We offer eight distinct load washer model series in various capacities for each. Our load washers boast capacities ranging from a delicate five lbf to a mighty 1,124K lbf, catering to a broad spectrum of force measurement needs.

LW GENERAL PURPOSE LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL 5 lbf to 40K lbf

LWCF CLAMPING FORCE LOAD CELL 3.37K lbf to 33.7K lbf

LWHP14 PRECISION LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL 11.2 to 22.5K lbf

LWHP18 HIGH CAPACITY PRECISION LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL 1.12K lbf to 1,124K lbf

LWMH1 LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL WITH MOUNTING HOLES 45 to 2.25K lbf

LWMH2 LARGER LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL WITH MOUNTING HOLES 112.4 to 4.5K lbf

LWPF1 PRESS FORCE LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL 450 to 22.5K lbf

LWPF2 HIGH CAPACITY PRESS FORCE LOAD WASHER LOAD CELL 22.5K to 135K lbf

Their typical small size and donut shape make them easy to integrate into tight spaces and various configurations. Note that Interface also offers larger sizes for larger applications, like the LWPF2, which is over 12 ½” in diameter. They offer precise force measurement for critical applications demanding tight tolerances. These load cells are built to withstand demanding environments and handle repeated loading cycles.

Interface Thru-Hole Torque Transducers

The central hole torque transducer allows easy integration into existing testing environments, structures, and machinery, making them adaptable to various torque measurement applications. These devices are popular for measuring tool performance in different testing labs.

TSCF C-FACE FLANGE TORQUE TRANSDUCER 88.5 lbf-in to 885 lbf-in (10 Nm to 100 Nm)

T27 BEARINGLESS HOLLOW FLANGE STYLE ROTARY TORQUE TRANSDUCER 443 lbf-in to 8.85K lbf-in (50 Nm to 1000 Nm)

TS11 Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer 88.5 lbf-in to 177K lbf-in (10 Nm to 20K Nm)

TS19 SHORT FLANGE STYLE REACTION TORQUE TRANSDUCER 443 lbf-in to 88.5K lbf-in (50 Nm to 10K Nm)

TS20 Hollow Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer 88.5 lbf-in to 1.77K lbf-in (10 Nm to 200 Nm)

5330 Hollow Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

Overall, the thru-hole design enhances its versatility and applicability across various industries and applications where precise measurement is essential for performance, safety, and quality assurance.

Interface Thru-Hole Multi-Axis Sensor

As with all sensor technologies today, the more data, the better for some applications. In addition to the capabilities to measure Fx (N), Fy (N), Fz (N), Mx (Nm), My (Nm), Mz (Nm) in a 6-Axis Multi-Axis Sensor, Interface does offer a thru-hole model.

6ADF Series 6-Axis DIN Flange-Type Load Cells Force: 4.5 to 269 lbf, Torque: 8.85 to 531 lb-in (Force: 20 N to 1.2 kN, Torque: 1 Nm to 60 Nm)

Interface’s 6-axis load cell measures forces 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. Interface’s 6-axis load cell is ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical research (orthopedics and biomechanical). 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.

For your convenience, detailed specifications, design files, and model ranges are readily available online. Use our Interface Load Cell Selection Guide to evaluate force measurement sensors. Use our Interface Torque Selection Guide to find a torque measurement transducer with a thru-hole design best suited for your next testing project.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Load Washers 101

Interface 2023 Top Products and Trends

Interface Mini Load Cells Growing in Product Use and Testing

 

 

Fatigue Testing with Interface Load Cells

Engineers rely on fatigue testing to ensure the safety and reliability of their product designs and structures. By understanding how materials behave under repeated loading, engineers can design components resistant to fatigue failure.

Fatigue testing requires accurate and reliable force measurement. Interface uses ‘fatigue-rated’ as an exact specification that defines a special class of load cell design and construction. Interface fatigue-rated load cells are designed to withstand the rigors of repeated loading, which makes them ideal for even the most demanding high cycle count fatigue testing applications.

In a typical fatigue testing setup, Interface fatigue-rated load cells are attached to the test specimen or the test machine, and the cyclic loading is applied according to the test protocol. The load cells continuously record the applied forces or stresses, allowing engineers and researchers to monitor how the material responds to repeated loading.

By analyzing the data from Interface load cells, researchers and material engineers can determine the material’s endurance limit, fatigue life, and stress-strain behavior. This information is invaluable for optimizing material selection, design, and manufacturing processes to enhance product performance and reliability while identifying fatigue and potential failure risks.

The use of fatigue-rated load cells and data logging instrumentation is necessary for most test and measurement applications, particularly when materials, parts, or assemblies are tested for destruction. This is true because an accurate record of the forces at every moment of the tests is the only way an engineer can analyze the stresses that occurred in the moments just before the ultimate failure. Read more about fatigue testing in our Interface’s Technical Library.

Interface Fatigue-Rated Load Cells

1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile® Load Cell

1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile® Load Cell

1500 Low Capacity LowProfile® Load Cell

1208 Flange Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell

Profile of a Fatigue-Rated Load Cell

  • Design stress levels in the flexures are about one-half as high as in a standard LowProfile load cell.
  • Internal high-stress points, such as sharp corners and edges, are specially polished to avoid crack propagation.
  • Extraneous load sensitivity is specified and adjusted to a lower level than in a standard LowProfile load cell.
  • All Interface fatigue-rated load cells have a specified service life of 100 million fully reversed, full-capacity loading cycles.

No one can accurately predict exactly when the failure will occur, nor which part of an assembly will be the weakest link that eventually will fail. This is why high cycle count testing is the best way to measure fatigue life. To read more about fatigue testing and fatigue theory, consult Interface’s Load Cell Field Guide.

Fatigue Testing Applications

Interface fatigue-rated load cells are used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, and manufacturing. They are used to test various products, from aircraft wings and landing gear to furniture and industrial machinery.

How Interface fatigue-rated load cells are used in fatigue testing:

  • Aerospace: Interface fatigue-rated load cells test the durability of aircraft wings, landing gear, and other aerospace components. This helps to ensure that aircraft can withstand the rigors of repeated takeoffs, landings, and flights. These load cells test the materials used for structures and even rockets.
  • Automotive: Interface fatigue-rated load cells test the fatigue life of engine components, chassis, and suspension systems. This helps to ensure that vehicles are safe and reliable and that they can withstand the stresses of everyday driving.
  • Civil engineering: Interface fatigue-rated load cells test the fatigue resistance of bridges, buildings, and critical infrastructure. This helps to ensure that these structures can withstand the loads they are designed to carry and are safe for the public.
  • Manufacturing: Interface fatigue-rated load cells test the fatigue life of industrial machinery, tools, and consumer products. This helps to ensure that these products are reliable and can withstand the demands of everyday use.

Watch how Interface load cells are used in this bike frame testing application.

Interface has specialized in fatigue-rated load cells and their applications since our founding in 1968. Our LowProfile® fatigue-rated load cells provide up to 100 million duty cycles, and the gaged sensors in every load cell are individually inspected, tested, and certified to meet our rigid performance standards.

It is imperative to choose the right load cell for your fatigue testing application. Load cells come in various sizes and capacities, so it is vital to choose one that is right for your fatigue testing application. Ensure you know the maximum load that will be applied to the load cell, the type of loading, the accuracy requirement, and the environmental conditions for testing. Consult with Interface application engineers to find the suitable load cell for your testing requirements.

ADDITIONAL APPLICATIONS AND RESOURCES

CPG Bike Handlebar Fatigue Testing

Interface Specializes in Fatigue-Rated Load Cells

Prosthetics Load and Fatigue Testing App Note

Furniture Fatigue Cycle Testing App Note

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

 

How Load Cells Are Transforming the Construction Industry

The construction industry is one the most universal, growing, and dangerous industries in the world. Interface force measurement solutions are used for all types of construction applications from bridge and high-rise building projects to foundation load tests and structural monitoring. Our sensors and instrumentation are used in crane and heavy lifting operations, material testing and equipment calibration.

Accuracy and quality of all measurement products used for design, testing, monitoring, and equipment evaluations is imperative in protecting the project’s assets and workers. One of the leading causes of construction accidents is overloading equipment. When equipment is overloaded, it can fail, leading to serious injuries. It is essential to utilize high accuracy load cell technologies to measure the amount of force being applied to construction equipment.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to prevent overloading accidents by using the measurement data to ensure that equipment is not being extended beyond its safety capabilities. Force measurement solutions can also be used to monitor the performance of equipment and identify potential problems before they lead to an accident.

Interface offers a wide variety of sensor solutions for construction equipment and material testing. Our load cells offer precise measurements of applied forces, furnishing essential data regarding the structural response under various load circumstances. This data plays a critical role in evaluating structural integrity, detecting potential vulnerabilities, and optimizing design to guarantee the safety and dependability of infrastructure.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to improve efficiency and productivity in the construction industry in all areas including engineering, testing and maintenance. By monitoring the performance of equipment, construction companies can identify areas where they can improve efficiency.

It is common to find Interface load cells, including load pins, load shackles, miniature and even jumbo load cells in use for various forms of construction projects, equipment and tools. These products, as well as torque transducers, instrumentation and wireless systems are frequently used in the testing and monitoring of the machinery, rigging and lifting devices, gear, and heavy duty vehicles that are used in various stages of building.

Interface provides various sensors for a range of construction use cases around the world, including:

  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Infrastructure programs
  • Industrial construction
  • Material testing machines
  • Civil engineering projects
  • Mining and tunneling
  • Environmental remediation
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Vehicle OEMS
  • Cranes and lifting equipment


Construction is an ever-present and ever-growing industry estimated to reach nearly $13T in global spending with broad and diverse use of measurement solutions. From single dwelling construction tools to heavy machines used to move concrete slabs, measurement is fundamental in construction. Included below we have provided a few examples of how our sensors are being used in construction.

Construction Reach Stacker

A reach stacker is a vehicle used in construction site to lift, move, and stack heavy containers. A force monitoring system was needed to ensure the safety of surrounding personnel, and if the reach stacker can lift heavy loads. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins were installed into the corners of the lifting mechanism of the reach stacker, where heavy loaded containers are lifted and moved. The force results were then wirelessly transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or directly to the customer’s PC with the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor their reach stacker with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System and ensure its ability to lift heavy loads on site.

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Wind monitoring is a necessary operation during bridge constructions. Strong winds can destroy a bridge under construction since it is a work in progress with poor structural design. Monitoring these winds in real time is much more accurate than using predicted weather forecasts. Interface suggested installing the WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module on the highest point of construction, such as a crane. Wind speed results were wirelessly transmitted to the customer’s PC through WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface in Industrial Enclosure. It was transmitted to the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters Data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Interface’s WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module combined with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System was perfect to monitor the wind speed in real-time during the bridge’s construction.

Metal Bending Force Material Testing for Construction

A construction material supplier wanted to know how much force it takes to bend different grades of steel metal used for building and infrastructure projects. They use their metal bending machine to create different metal hardware and wanted to record the amounts of force it takes to bend the metal used for their projects. Interface suggested using a wireless method, so cables do not interfere with the machine. The WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell was attached to the head of the hydraulic operated steel bender. Results were wirelessly transmit to the customers PC through the WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface, where data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Using this solution, the customer was able to record the force results of his metal bending machine with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System.

Interface is adept at providing solutions suited for use in construction projects, equipment and ongoing monitoring programs.  If you have questions about what products are suited for your specific project, equipment or testing programs, contact us. We are here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Gantry Crane Weighing

Lifting Heavy Objects

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface Solutions for Structural Testing

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Innovative Interface Load Pin Applications

 

 

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

Interface supports rigging engineers who design, plan, and oversee the rigging of heavy loads by providing high accuracy measurement solutions. Rigging is the process of using ropes, chains, and other lifting equipment to move and position large objects.

Rigging engineers typically work in maritime, construction, manufacturing, entertainment and energy industries. Interface is also seeing a growing demand for sensor technologies used by rigging engineers that work in aerospace, both for aircraft and space vehicle manufacturers.

The use of load cells to measure the weight of heavy loads, such as cranes, ships, rockets, theater equipment and machinery is on the rise. Rigging engineers use the data from load cells, load pins, load shackles, and tension links to ensure that the loads are not overloaded and that the rigging systems are properly designed for each use case. This often requires pairing the high accuracy sensor with instrumentation. For versatility wireless telemetry systems are useful for rigging engineers.

These vital engineering positions are responsible for rigging up and down cranes, loading and unloading ships, or moving heavy equipment around a factory floor. Rigging engineers that design and plan rigging systems for lifting and transporting heavy loads across various industries rely on accurate measurement data. They often oversee the rigging of heavy loads, ensuring that it is done safely and efficiently. They inspect rigging equipment for wear and tear, and make repairs as needed while maintaining records of rigging operations. Sensors and instrumentation play an important role.

Load cells are an important tool for rigging engineers. They provide valuable information that can be used to ensure the safety of rigging operations, whether they are for mooring tension tests in the maritime industry or for lifting an aircraft for wind tunnel testing. Load cells can be used in a variety of ways by rigging engineers. For example, they can be used to:

  • Monitor the weight of a load in real time. This information can be used to make sure that the load does not exceed the safe lifting capacity of the rigging system. Sensors are often integrated into conveyor systems, hoppers, and other equipment to measure the weight or force being exerted. These devices are often used in industries like mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
  • Create a load map. A load map is a visual representation of the weight distribution of a load. This information can be used to ensure that the load is evenly distributed, and that the rigging system is properly designed no matter the size of structure or component.
  • Set overload limits. Overload limits are set to prevent the rigging system from being overloaded. If the weight of a load exceeds the overload limit, an alarm will sound, and the rigging system will be shut down.
  • Record load data. Load data can be recorded and used to track the weight of loads over time. This information can be used to identify trends and patterns that may indicate a need for maintenance or repairs.
  • Secure equipment. The information from force and weight sensors is critical when lifting and securing equipment, such as appartus used in the entertainment sector, from arial arts rigging to stage set-up.

Rigging engineers use load pins, load shackles, and tension links in a variety of applications to measure and monitor loads, weight and tensions in different lifting and rigging operations.

  • Crane and Hoist Monitoring: Load pins, load shackles, and tension links are commonly used in cranes and hoists to measure the load being lifted. These devices can be integrated into the lifting mechanism to provide real-time load monitoring, ensuring that the load remains within safe working limits. Application examples: Gantry Crane Weighing and Crane Force Regulation App Note
  • Heavy Lifting and Rigging: Load measurement technologies are used in heavy lifting and rigging operations to measure the tension in cables, ropes, and other lifting components. By monitoring the tension, rigging engineers can ensure that the load is evenly distributed, and that the lifting equipment is not overloaded. Application examples: Lifting Heavy Objects and Aircraft Lifting Equipment
  • Load Testing: Sensors are utilized in load testing scenarios to assess the strength and performance of lifting equipment, such as cranes, hoists, and winches. These devices provide accurate load measurements during the testing process, helping engineers determine if the equipment meets the required safety standards. Application examples: Rescue Helicopter Hoist Test and Harness Durability Testing
  • Offshore and Marine Applications: Due to the ruggedized designs of Interface load pins, load shackles, and tension links, we see extensive use in offshore and maritime operations. They are employed in various lifting and mooring applications, including lifting heavy equipment onto offshore platforms, measuring tension in mooring lines, and monitoring loads on anchor systems. Application examples: Mooring Line Tension Testing App Note and Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications
  • Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Projects: Load cells, load pins, load shackles, and tension links are actively used in construction and civil engineering projects for load monitoring purposes. They can be used in applications such as measuring loads on temporary structures, monitoring tension in cables and suspension systems, and ensuring safe load distribution during construction operations. Application examples: Power Line Tension Testing and Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

In all these applications, rigging engineers are using crucial data about loads, tensions, and forces, to ensure safety, optimize performance, and prevent equipment failures.

Load cells and measurement solutions can help to prevent overloading of rigging systems, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Accurate sensors help to improve the efficiency of rigging operations by providing real-time weight data. This information can be used to adjust the rigging system as needed, which can help to reduce the amount of time and effort required to lift and transport heavy loads.

Learn more about Interface’s Lifting Solutions and Weighing Solutions for Rigging Engineers with these resources:

Aerial Arts Rig

Theater Rigging System

WTS Yacht Rigging Inspection App Note

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Weighing: Gantry Crane Weighing

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Infrastructure is one of the most vital industries that utilize Interface force measurement solutions. Our products are chosen for the design, engineering and construction of public works projects including roads, energy structures, bridges, dams, airports, sewage systems, and pipelines.

Civil engineering is a professional discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environments. It’s the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was specifically defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering.

Civil engineering is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering.

Civil engineers choose Interface sensors for testing structural components as well as for embedding sensors within buildings, waterways, and railways to ensure sustainable and safe construction, modifications, improvements, repairs and use.

Civil engineers’ relationship with and use of force measurement devices is based on two things: testing designs and monitoring completed projects.

Load cells are used from a test perspective throughout the development of infrastructure projects. For example, load cells test specific materials used in the construction of a building to ensure they can handle the required weights and environmental conditions. In the design of a drawbridge bridge, engineers use load cells to test the hydraulic system to ensure it will provide enough force to lift the bridge from a single time to thousands of times by using stress test rigs.

The use of various sensors and measurement devices in civil engineering and construction sectors has grown significantly in recent years. The sensor data from Interface load cells is utilized in every aspect, from rugged construction equipment for regulatory and safety monitoring to real-time quality monitoring of physical structures. One of the reasons is due to the advances in monitoring and reporting capabilities of sensor data. Accessibility to data has improved the ability to use it for complex calculations as well as analyze enormous amounts of output information in real-time. The benefits are improvements in structural designs and overall engineering as a result.

By accessing data remotely through Interface digital instrumentation products, those within the industry can deploy more practical solutions than were historically impossible during some of the original designs. This has transformed approaches to force measurement and load monitoring, providing robust calculations in structural and material engineering. This functionality is why civil engineering sectors rely on Interface for advanced products that deliver accurate, quality and reliable performance.

The following video highlights many products utilized in the infrastructure industry by civil engineers and for the equipment used in construction of their designs.

Force measurement is even used by civil engineers in testing the construction equipment used in a variety of infrastructure projects. One example of this is when Interface supplied a force measurement system to construction engineers to test an aerial lifts capabilities and capacities for safe use.

Aerial Lift Overload Control

A manufacturing company for aerial lifts wanted to test its self-propelled boom lift to ensure it can operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. They also wanted to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of any working individual who uses it. Interface’s solution was to attach the 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell gave high accuracy results, which can be displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The manufacturing company tested their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable when maximum capacities had been reached.

Adversely, engineers are also designing force sensors into projects allowing them to monitor the effects of force on certain infrastructure over time. Take for example a project that Interface was involved in that required the monitoring of a bridge.

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurred to a bridge by using force sensors, and then continuously monitor bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes. Engineers on the project also preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Using Interface’s LP Load Pin custom made to fit their needs, along with Interface Inc. WTS Wireless Telemetry System, continuous force monitoring was able to take place without long cables. The engineers were then able to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information, ensuring the bridge would uphold over time and constant seismic activity. Or, allowing engineers to determine when and where repairs are necessary.

Civil engineers represent the minds and hands building critical infrastructure. This is why Interface works closely with those in this profession to ensure our sensors provide the highest quality, accuracy and reliability to keep people safe and moving across our country. To learn more about our work in infrastructure, please visit our Interface Infrastructure Solutions.

Additional Resources

Interface and Infrastructure Markets Form a Perfect Partnership

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

Infrastructure-Brochure-1

Interface and Infrastructure Markets Form a Perfect Partnership

Infrastructure projects are growing, as investment continues to climb for projects related to rebuilding, renewing and innovating applications in this sector. These global investments come from public and private organizations as demands to address roads, bridges, water supplies, transportation, energy systems, and broadband requirements for the 21st century grow.

Experts who focus on infrastructure acknowledge these are means for civil existence and prosperity. Interface understands that our role in supporting the design, testing, manufacturing, constructing and maintenance required in infrastructure needs a top supplier of force measurement solutions.

Interface force measurement solutions have and are currently used around the world for infrastructure projects including bridges, generators, dams, waterways, transportation structures, construction projects, cranes and lifting apparatus, and heavy machinery.

Interface supplies durable and accurate sensor technologies used in testing equipment, technology, vehicles, tools and machines used in all types of infrastructure subsectors. We also find our products often designed into structures for regulatory and safety monitoring, whether that be to maintain tunnels or support wind generating farms.

Interface details force measurement products we commonly provide to those working and supporting the infrastructure sector in our Infrastructure Solutions Brochure. You can see some of these products in our Infrastructure Solutions video.

Interface load cells, load pins, instrumentation, multi-axis sensors, and torque transducers are top choices for those engaged in infrastructure projects and testing. Sensors are commonly used in measuring the related hardware used for industry products and structures. The types of infrastructure projects that Interface has supplied measurement solutions for includes transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, support, and maintain them, as outlined in Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface.

Our expert engineers can help design customizable force measurement solutions for all types of applications that require sensors for OEMs and to be used in the actual structure for continuous measuring and monitoring. We have engineered sensor products used for civil engineering designs and infrastructures used in structural monitoring, vibrational monitoring, load bearing testing, tunnels, bridges, and road construction. The range of projects are broad, so we are highlighting a few below that highlight our capabilities when accuracy, quality and reliability matter in design, testing, construction, and assessing current and limitations for safety requirements.

Hydraulic Jacking System Testing

An equipment manufacturer needed to test their hydraulic jacking system’s ability to lift heavy loads and objects, like a bridge during construction. They wanted to monitor the forces being applied to ensure the hydraulic jack is not only safe to use, but works well enough to avoid any potential structural issues. Interface’s 1200 Standard High Capacity Load Cell can be attached in between the hydraulic jack and a heavy load. The load cell measures the forces of the hydraulic jack as it lifts the load cell located in between the jack and the object. With the 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator, the customer is also able to see the results in real-time. Read more here.

Aerial Lift Overload Control

A manufacturing company for aerial lifts wanted to test its self-propelled boom lift to ensure it can operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. They also wanted to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of any working individual who uses it. Interface’s solution was to attach the 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The multi-axis sensor provides high accuracy results, which were displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The manufacturing company tested their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable when maximum capacities has been reached in use. Read more here.

Truck Weighbridge Monitoring

A transportation company needed to record the weight or loads being carried by their vehicles. They would like a wireless weighing bridge that is able to transmit, log, and display the results in real time. Interface suggests installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighbridge. When a truck drives over it, the load cells will transmit the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display can also display the weight inside for the driver to see in real time. The customer was able to measure, log, and graph the different loads their trucks carried wirelessly onto the weighbridge with success, providing for safe passage across transportation ways. Read more here.

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor and detect any turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river. Interface’s solution was to use the T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Read more here.

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge by using force sensors and then continuously monitoring bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes occur. The customer also preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Using Interface’s LP Load Pin custom made to fit their needs along Interface’s WTS Wireless Telemetry System for continuous force monitoring the designed solution was able to take place without long cables. The solution allowed the customer to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information. Read more here.

Interface’s work with all facets of the infrastructure industry spans far and wide. Interface is a supplier of choice and key partner for providing reliable sensors and instrumentation solutions used in testing and monitoring of both the infrastructure and the equipment used to upgrade and refine it.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

Load Pins 101

A load pin is a type of load cell that can replace bolts, clevis, sheave, and equalizer pins, as well as other load-bearing components to measure tensile and compression forces. Load pins are internally gauged with a bored center containing strain gauges, allowing them to convert force into an electrical signal for engineers to accurately collect data.

Most applications for load pins in the past have been for overhead equipment like cranes and lifts. Load pins have expanded in popularity and are now often used to test and measure force, load, and limitations in a much larger variety of applications. This includes uses not only for cranes and lifting devices, but also construction equipment, industrial machines, nautical craft and equipment, aerospace, and civil engineering applications. A primary system approach with structural applications is for safety and to prevent excesses in loading and lifting.

New model types with wireless and Bluetooth technology are also resulting in more use cases for these specialized force measurement solutions. This applies to both test and measurement as well as for installed OEM components within a larger structure or apparatus.

Top Load Pin Benefits

  • Easy to install new or retrofit
  • Robust construction
  • Replaces existing load bearing pins without any system modifications
  • Engineered to order designs available
  • Can be supplied with integral connector
  • Custom sizes and higher capacities available

Load pins come in many standard shapes and sizes, as well customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Interface provides these measuring devices, which often replace a bolt or pin, for safety and application monitoring. Some of our load pins are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use.

The Interface Load Pins are machined from high tensile stainless steel and are suitable for exposed situations including seawater. We offer standard load pins with ratings between 1.1K lbf to 3.3M lbf (500kgs to 1500 MT). We also offer custom manufactured load pins suit applications from 100 kgs to 1500+ MT.

LP Stainless-Steel Load Pin – Great for lifting applications for both short and long distances. This product can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model LP Load pin is available in capacities up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN).

WTSLP Wireless Stainless-Steel Load Pin This advanced load can transmit wirelessly up to 600 (1,969 feet) meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station.  The capacities range goes all the way up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN). The wireless option utilizes low power consumption for long battery life. It is configured and calibrated via PC using a base station and telemetry toolkit and compatible with Interface WTS Wireless products. The load pin is robust and uses a lightweight housing. It is environmentally sealed to IP67.

Load Pin Application

One of the largest scale applications of load pins we provided were used to measure force on a large bridge infrastructure project in the western U.S. The goal was to continuously monitor the standard force created by regular traffic, as well as the seismic force before, during, and after earthquakes. The monitoring sensors needed to be integrated into a dampener that would be attached to the structural tower.

The solution allows the company to monitor force from emitted data to cross-reference the standard traffic force with the seismic force to understand its effect on the bridge. Its purpose is to help with predictive maintenance and influence future bridge designs to better compensate for the forces of an earthquake or other natural disasters, which are common in this part of the world.

READ THE SEISMIC BRIDGE MONITORING APPLICATION NOTE HERE

READ THE INFRASTRUCTURE CASE STUDY HERE

The project required a custom product that could handle the inimitable and considerable force of a bridge under every scenario of distress. Engineers developed a custom load pin to handle the force of movement in the bridge in the event of an earthquake. This load pin was much larger than our standard version and is rated at 900,000 lbf. The large load pins were designed to be integrated into the dampener with wireless data acquisition modules connected to the load pins to allow for remote access to the data. With the integration of Interface’s custom load pins and data acquisition module, the customer was always able to continuously collect data for real-time evaluation. The sturdy construction of our load pins and 900,000 lbf rating allowed for readings during all degrees of seismic activity.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins and there many applications, please contact our application specialists today.