Interface’s technical webinar Engineered Solutions for Lifting details measurement devices used in lifting equipment, machines, and vehicles to improve operations. Interface load cells and instrumentation are used in operating cranes, for hoisting heavy objects, and measuring forces in infrastructure projects. Interface experts will provide answers as to how load cells are used in safety monitoring for lifting equipment. Learn about Interface sensor products suited for integration into existing equipment, as well as for test and measurement projects.
Vacuum testing labs are essential for ensuring that products and materials are safe and dependable in vacuum environments. A vacuum environment is an area where there is little or no matter. This means that there are very few gas molecules present, and the pressure is incredibly low. Vacuum environments are often created using vacuum pumps, which remove gas molecules from an enclosed space.
Vacuum environments are used to simulate the conditions that products and materials will experience in space or other high-altitude environments. These types of testing labs typically have a vacuum chamber that can be evacuated to an incredibly low pressure. The vacuum chamber is then used to evaluate products and materials for a variety of properties. Engineers use vacuum environments in testing for reduced contamination, improving heat transfer, and to reduce the weight of products.
Tests performed in vacuum labs are used to determine the rate at which gases are released from a product or material and the ability of a product or material to withstand a vacuum without leaking. Thermal cycling tests are done to assess the ability of a product or material to withstand changes in temperature in a vacuum environment. Other tests are done to understand how the test article withstands exposure to radiation.
Vacuum testing labs are used by a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical, and defense. These labs are common for material process testing and used in R&D. Vacuum testing helps to identify potential problems with products and materials before they are used in a real vacuum environment. Engineers use this type of testing to improve the performance of products and materials and ensure they meet the required standards. Contact Interfaced to explore your options.
Can load cells be used in a vacuum environment?
Load cells can be used in a vacuum environment. However, not all load cells are created equal or suited for this specialized use case. Some load cells are designed that make them appropriate for vacuum environments, while others are not. Load cells that are not engineered to perform in vacuum environments may not be able to withstand the low pressures and outgassing that can occur in a vacuum. Using quality load cells that are manufactured by force measurement experts in sensor technologies is important in any consideration. It is critical to review the specifications and requirements with a qualified applications engineer.
Key considerations when choosing a load cell for a vacuum environment:
- Outgassing: Load cells that are used in vacuum environments will have low outgassing rates. This means that they will not release gases into the vacuum chamber, which can contaminate the environment and interfere with measurements.
- Mechanical strength: Load cells must be able to withstand the low pressures that can occur in a vacuum. They will also be able to withstand the conditions that can be generated by vacuum processes, such as outgassing and condensation. Form factor and model material of the load cell are important in choosing a load cell for this use case.
- Temperature range: Load cells will need to operate in a wide range of temperatures. This is important because vacuum chambers can be very cold, especially when they are first evacuated, or when they are used to simulate high altitudes or space.
If you are looking for a load cell that can be used in a vacuum environment, please review with Interface application engineers to determine if the model fits your test requirements. We also can offer custom solutions to ensure that the load cell maintains the accuracy and performance specifications based on your exact test plan.
Can a load cell be vented for use in a vacuum testing lab?
Technically yes, you can vent a load cell to be used in vacuum. This allows the internal cavity of the load cell to equalize with external vacuum. However, this does not prevent outgassing and can cause the gages and wiring to be subject to humidity and condensation.
Cabling is extremely important when using any sensor in this environment. There are options to make the load cells wireless using Bluetooth technology.
Caution: Interface recommends that all our products used in this type of environment are designed, built, and calibrated for use in this environment. Venting an existing load cell can alter the performance and damage the cell. By designing the load cell with venting for use, we can ensure that it will meet the vacuum test range.
Interface also can install thermocouples to work with the sensor to detect temperature in this type of testing environment. In fact, our engineers have designed load cells to package the thermocouples inside the form factor for convenience and performance benefits.
Interface engineers have worked with testing labs for decades. We are available to assist with any use case requirements to determine the best measurement solution.
Interface’s technical force measurement webinar Demystifying Specifications details descriptions, terms, values and parameters found in product datasheets for load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and specialty products. Learn from our experts what specifications need critical review, recommendations based on product categories, and the insider point of view on what is most important in terms of specifications for different use cases and tests.
In today’s Face of Interface, we feature the artist behind Interface’s branded content in all types of formats. Lauren O’Hagan is an integral member of the sales and marketing team, bringing her creative flair and hunger for learning all about the world of force measurement.
Lauren grew up with a highly creative influence in her life. Her mother is an artist and it drove her to express herself through many different art forms growing up including painting, sculpting, jewelry-making and other creations. As Lauren investigated her post-secondary education, she wanted to continue expanding her artistic repertoire by going to school for graphic design and digital art.
She would go on to receive her associate degree from Glendale Community College in Digital Media Arts, followed by a Graphic Information Technology bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. During her time in school, she also took on a few different internships in both graphic and apparel design. One internship was with a web development company in Maryland.
Following college, Lauren went on to intern for a friend in New Jersey who owned an entertainment company called ‘Jersey Turn’t Up Ent.’ In this role, she continued to apply her graphic design skills to help the company’s brand development. She also worked as a supervisor at Kohls, as well as doing some freelance graphic design on the side.
At the same time, Lauren was applying for full time jobs throughout the Greater Phoenix area. Interface’s Scott Whitworth found Lauren’s application and brought her in for an interview. The two bonded over a similar creative upbringing and interests, and Lauren proved her capabilities and was hired! Lauren really enjoyed making the transition from entertainment and retail to manufacturing, as she is a self-described nerd who loves to learn new fields while still being able to express herself creatively.
In her role as Interface’s Multimedia Specialist, Lauren is responsible for Interface’s creative asset design and development, including brochures, animations, infographics, and application notes. She also manages web development tasks. She is constantly exploring ways to share Interface’s story. She is responsible for the development many of Interface’s new and innovative marketing campaign assets, as well as designing images, digital materials and visuals utilized across a multitude of platforms.
The thing that Lauren enjoys most about working at Interface is the atmosphere and culture. Everyone is friendly, engaging and always willing to help her out when she has questions. She also enjoys the opportunity to work across different departments and with a wide variety of different people.
In her free time, Lauren continues to develop her digital art and sharing it on social media platforms. She also takes pleasure in stocking up her online store with new digital art prints. She is an avid gamer, often playing games with her Fiancé who happens to live in France. The two plans to be married by the end of the year. The highlight of her day is spending time with her family and her four dogs!
We had a wonderful time learning more about what makes Lauren tick and what inspires her outstanding creative work. If you’re interested in learning more about the rest of the Interface team, tune into our blog for the next team member highlight in our Faces of Interface ForceLeaders Series. For information about Interface careers, go here.
Interface webinar Unlocking the Power of DAQ details trends, best practices and considerations for using data acquisiton in force measurement applications. We explore DAQ instrumentation options, trends and set-up options. Learn why data acquisition systems are growing in popularity for all types of use cases. We also detail the new Interface Data AQ Packs and system options for capturing critical data. Watch the online technical seminar for recommendations on equipment, plus we answser the most frequently asked questions about DAQ in test and measurement.
Interface experts detail standard measurement devices that are essential to all testing labs. They highlight calibration standards and calibration grade equipment, along with instrumentation and data acquisition systems. What types of equipment do you need in the lab to meet the testing demands of today and in the future? Watch this in-depth seminar for recommendations on equipment, best practices, tips, test lab applications and frequently asked questions.
Interface’s first event of 2023 focuses on a growing line of miniaturized load cells and torque transducers. The presentation by Brian Peters and Justin Walker emphasizes that though the form factor is small for Interface Minis, accuracy and measurement capacities are high.
Through out the event Taking Measure of Miniature Load Cells, Interface product experts detailed specific applications and use cases for miniature force measurement devices. Interface’s Minis are commonly used across all types of industries from medical device testing to embedded sensors in machines to provide real-time system health and performance data.
After inventing the LowProfile load cell more than five and half decades ago, Interface engineers and founder first introduced the miniature s-type load cells in 1974. How does Interface classify a miniature load cell?
- Miniature load cells are engineered for use in applications for light touch, light weight, or for less space.
- Miniature load cells provide exceedingly accurate measurements similar to our full-size load cells with proprietary alloy strain gages.
- Miniature load cells can measure both tension and compression.
- Miniature load cells and torque transducers are available in a wide range of capacities and models.
- Miniature load cells are not just small in physical size, they also have a range to test minimal forces with extremely high accuracy
- Interface defines our trademarked Mini™ Load Cells as anything that isn’t a low profile load cell
The team also covered new products that provide extremely high accuracy measurement in very small envelopes, including our new SuperSC, ConvexBT, the popular WMC and MRT, along with our new Pillow Block Load Cells. They also highlight some of the special options, including wireless and submersible products. Throughout the recorded event, products were introduced to showcase the range and options available for miniature load cells and torque transducers, including:
- Miniature beam load cells
- Miniature load button load cells
- Miniature load washers
- Miniature tension and compression, compression only load cells
- S-type load cells
- Miniature sealed stainless steel load cells
- Column rod end miniature load cells
- Torque transducer miniatures
You can watch the entire event online on the Interface YouTube Channel. You don’t want to miss out on the answers to our most frequently asked questions, like do you can you calibrate a load button or can you make a mini load cell without cables (wireless)? They also give you the details on the smallest measurement capacity for a miniature load cell and the largest measurement capacity for an Interface miniature. Can you imagine a million lbf mini? Tune in to learn more and a special section on do and don’t tips.
In today’s Faces of Interface, we share the story about the man behind the money, Eric Cassidy, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis. Eric has an interesting background rooted in the scientific field and a journey that eventually led him to take a leading position in our Finance Department at Interface.
Eric Cassidy took an unorthodox journey into finance after pursuing an education and early career in chemical engineering. He graduated with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Illinois and went to work for a chemical plant mixing and packaging industrial cleaning supplies. In this role, he was responsible for managing 30 people.
However, Eric realized that this was not what he wanted to do. Rather than sticking it out, he decided to go back to school in the evenings for an MBA in finance. Fortunately, the chemical plant had a great track record of moving engineers in other roles, and he was able to move to a finance role. He stayed with the company for five years.
His background in chemical engineering also allowed him to move to new finance roles within the industry. He served as a controller for 13 years at Ecolab, where he was charged with being a controller for a chemical engineering plant and a few warehouses. When the pandemic hit, he also spent some time working for a bakery for a year before joining Interface.
Eric found Interface when looking for a new job. He lived in Dallas at the time, while his whole family lived in Phoenix. He had never heard of us but found our listing during a job search in the area. It seemed like a terrific opportunity because his chemical engineering degree and background significantly helped with understanding the way things work in a manufacturing facility like Interface’s. As he did more research, he found himself excited about the opportunity due to the level of engineering that goes into our products.
He joined on as the Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis. He quickly got to work revamping the budgets for all departments, performing a cost analysis, and creating a system to help keep better track of financial data. Eric worked hard to review all financial details for Interface to fix material costs and absorption matching to get the budget back in order and improve pricing on products.
Eric mentioned that the work he has done for Interface so far has been a challenge, but it is what he enjoys most about the role. He enjoys taking on difficult problems and finding impactful solutions. As mentioned before, he also genuinely enjoys the level of precision and details that go into the products we make, and he appreciates his role in getting these products in the hands of customers.
Outside of the office, Eric is a big history buff and enjoys reading historical biographies on prominent figures and events in history. When we spoke with Eric, he was digging into Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb. To stay active, he can also often be found working out or hitting one of the many incredible golf courses found here in Arizona.
Eric’s financial and leadership expertise and experience has been critical to Interface and were thrilled to have him on the team. Learn more about Interface’s excellent staff in our Faces of Interface ForceLeaders series highlighting the individuals across all departments and disciplines making Interface the world’s premium force measurement solutions provider.
ForceLeaders is a registered trademark of Interface, Inc.
Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.