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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

 

The Aviation Industry Soars Using Interface Solutions

Interface is proud to offer a diverse range of force, torque, and weight measurement solutions to the aviation industry.

A sector within the aerospace industry, Interface aviation solutions are products we supply for use in the design, engineering and operation of aircraft.

The quality of our products, including the reliable form factor design, proprietary strain gages, and rugged materials, are built to withstand the rigorous performance standards and environments that aircraft safety demands. It is why Interface is a provider of choice for test and measurement solutions in the aviation industry. Check out our new Aircraft Solutions overview here.

The aircraft and aviation industries are vast and complex with many different sectors. Our products are currently used in commercial, general and military aviation, aviation infrastructure, equipment and systems. In addition to the mechanical component testing, Interface often supplies load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation for use in aviation training, education, research and development.

While aviation systems embody an extensive collection of interconnected components and technologies, this complexity does not lessen the requirements for rigorous sensor-based test and measurement programs for every part. Interface products help to collect critical data on the performance of aircraft components and systems. These aviation systems include aircraft, air traffic control, navigation and communication systems, infrastructure, ground support equipment, airport transport vehicles, aircraft testing labs, and tools.

We work with aeronautical and mechanical engineers who are involved in designing, developing, and maintaining aircraft, propulsion systems, avionics, and air traffic management technologies. Interface load cells and transducers provide accurate and reliable measurements of forces, weights and torques of aviation components and systems.

How does the aviation industry use Interface measurement solutions?

  • Aircraft engine manufacturers use our load cells and torque transducers to measure the operating performance within their design limits and for diagnostics and troubleshooting. Read: Aircraft Engine Hoist
  • Aviation system developers integrate our sensors into equipment and parts to provide continuous force monitoring and to trigger alarms for maintenance.
  • Rotorcraft part makers need to assess the loads and torques on blades and other components to the aircraft is safe to fly and to identify any weaknesses based on accurate measurements. Read:Propeller Testing
  • Landing gear experts use our load cells to confirm that the gear can withstand the forces encountered during takeoff, landing, and taxiing. Read: Landing Gear Joint Testing
  • Aircraft structures must be strong enough to withstand the forces encountered in flight. Testing is standard for cycle counts, environmental tests and assessment of materials. Interface products are used for assessing structural like wings and fuselages in wind tunnel tests. Read: Interface Solutions for Structural Testing and Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note
  • Flight control systems are using measurement sensors to test and monitor the components used for various controls. Read: Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement
  • In-flight systems and simulators utilize precision measurement devices to provide vital data that monitors aviation and aircraft health. This is important for real-time assessments and for training purposes. It is essential for the long-term growth of the industry to provide the best tools and equipment to learn the values of accurate measurement and how it impacts performance and safety.

Beyond the essential manufacturers of aircraft parts, aviation systems, and equipment, Interface supplies many of the leading aviation testing labs with load cells, load pins, torque transducers, wireless devices and instrumentation. The quality of our products is built to withstand the rigorous performance standards and environments that aircraft safety demands.

Our products are used for static testing, material testing, torque testing, fatigue testing, stress and tension tests, dynamic testing, environmental and wind tunnel testing, structural tests and compression testing. We also supply the aviation industry with measurement solutions for rigging, lifting, weighing and monitoring of equipment in use. Check out our Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note.

Learn more about our range of solutions in this Airplane Jacking System solution.

The aviation industry is a dynamic and ever-changing industry, and the sectors within it are constantly evolving. New innovations in the aviation require extensive testing and accurate measurement. The aviation industry is a complex and demanding industry, and the development of new technologies requires a rigorous testing process.

The fact that Interface offers an extensive array of force measure devices in different models, capacities, configurations and capabilities helps aviation system suppliers and manufacturers. Our load cells and sensor technologies are used to measure a wide range of factors, such as tensions, weights, forces, and torques. This information can be used to ensure the safety and reliability of aircraft and their components.

With a surplus of options that can meet the specifications of each use case and testing application, Interface is an experience and preferred provider to the aviation industry.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Supports Wind Tunnel Testing

LIFTING: Airplane Jacking System

LIFTING: Aircraft Engine Hoist

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control App Note

Airplane Static Testing Case Study

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

 

Interface is a Critical Solutions Provider for OEMs

The hardware industry is rapidly making its way into taking advantage of the Industry 4.0 and Big Data eras. The idea that data insight can cut costs, increase efficiency and reduce downtime is spreading like wildfire throughout major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) across the world. These organizations are adding more and more sensors and other data collection devices to their products to receive deeper analytics on the health and efficiency of various in-action processes.

One of the most important tools in this mix of data tracking and collecting devices are force measurement sensors. Load cells and torque transducers are being added to products across industries to not only optimize individual product processes, but also to ensure that the product remains in proper working conditions.

As an example, the aerospace industry is putting force sensors all over airplane components. Everything from landing gear to the wings may include a sensor. These force sensors can then be used to constantly collect data on the well-being of these components. If landing gear needs to be fixed or adjusted, you don’t want to find that out while your 30,000 feet in the year. You want data that helps you track performance and potential degradation over time so you can solve problems before it puts lives at risk.

To serve OEMs in automotive, aerospace, robotics, medical and consumer product industries, force measurement companies like Interface must be able to manufacture sensors in high volumes and at affordable price points. Load cells and torque transducers used in test and measurement can be reused over and over, so the demand for higher volumes is lower. However, when the sensor is integrated into the final product, force measurements manufacturers need to be able to deliver a high enough volume to meet the OEM’s demand for production of the specific product the sensor will be integrated into for continuous use.

Interface holds a unique position in the OEM marketplace for custom sensor technologies. Our decades of success has allowed us to make critical investments towards streamlining our own production and manufacturing of industry-leading components to serve OEM customers. Over the last few years, we’ve implemented better, more efficient processes and have added automation to improve consistency, repeatability and time to market. This also benefits our customers by lowering costs for large scale, continuous production to meet the growing demands and use cases in the OEM market.

A huge benefit is that Interface controls the design and development of our load cells and torque transducers. We build everything from the strain gauges to the product packaging. This allows us to rapidly iterate and customize our designs to meet the needs of a wide range of OEM customers. Our engineers work hand-in-hand with our OEM partners to design the exact requirements into our sensor technology.

This is critical to being a top solutions provider serving OEMs because force measurement products must fit the design and specifications of the OEM application, as well as potentially removing unnecessary features to fit a certain price point for volume production. OEM applications can also be exposed to more extreme conditions in industries like aerospace, automotive or medical, so the sensor might need a specific material or treatment to withstand certain environments.

One of the essential benefits we provide our customers in the U.S. is the fact that our products are manufactured in country, and our engineering, sales and support staff is also local. This enables easier communication with our customers, as well as faster shipping times. When a customer needs to adjust the specifications on a device or troubleshoot a challenge, they know that they’ll get the support they need during their own working hours.  We are extending this value globally as we continue to create solutions that meet our demands worldwide.

The demand for big data and automation is growing rapidly among OEMs. It is also one of the most competitive markets in the world. To serve our customers with unique engineered to order designs and solutions, we work every day to stay on top of manufacturing trends and find new ways to optimize production to meet their cost and volume needs.

To learn more about Interface and our custom solution capabilities for the OEM market, please visit us at www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor:  Brian Peters, Interface Regional Sales Director for the US