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Why Choose a Single Point Impact Cell?

A single point impact load cell (SPI) is a sensor that measures the impact force or load accurately applied to the force or weight exerted on a single point. SPI load cells offer precise and reliable measurements of impact forces or loads, making them valuable tools in various industries and applications.

SPI load cells are used in various industries where precise measurement of impact forces or loads at a single point is required. Here are four common use cases:

  • Material Testing: SPI load cells measure the impact resistance and mechanical properties of materials such as metals, plastics, composites, and rubber. These load cells are employed in impact testing machines to accurately measure the force exerted during impact tests, fracture toughness tests, and other mechanical tests on materials. Most product designers heavily rely on material testing for early-stage concepts to final-stage production.
  • Packaging and Filling Machinery: SPI load cells are utilized in packaging and filling machinery to ensure accurate container filling. These load cells measure the force exerted by the product as it is dispensed into containers, allowing precise control of filling volumes and ensuring consistency in product packaging. It is a way to eliminate waste.
  • Industrial Automation and Robotics: SPI load cells play a vital role in industrial automation and robotics applications, where precise force measurement is necessary for tasks such as material handling, assembly, and quality control. These load cells are integrated into robotic grippers, end-effectors, and assembly fixtures to monitor and control the forces exerted during robotic operations, ensuring accurate and reliable performance.

These are just a few examples of the diverse applications of SPI load cells across industries. Their ability to provide precise measurements of impact forces or loads at a single point makes them invaluable tools in various industrial processes and testing procedures.

Although the SPI resembles what is sometimes referred to as weigh pan cells, the single point impact cell was specifically designed to have greater than normal deflection at full scale to provide for the addition of stops to protect the cell against compression overloads. This was necessary because the usual deflection of 0.001 inch to 0.006 inch of most load cells is too small to adjust an external stop to protect the load cell accurately.

NOTE: A weigh pan cell, also known as a weigh module or load cell assembly, is a type of sensor system used for accurately measuring the weight or mass of objects placed on a platform or pan. It typically consists of one or more load cells mounted within a housing or frame structure. See more about SPIs in our Load Cell Field Guide.

SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load CellThe SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load Cell is designed to be a high-precision platform load cell. This product is compensated for off-center loading and is available in capacities ranging from 3 to 15 lbf (13.34 to 66.72 N).

Interface SPI cells with capacities of 3 lbf, 7.5 lbf, and 15 lbf contain their internal compression overload stop, which is adjusted at the factory to protect the cell up to four times the rated capacity. These cells have an additional bar under the lower surface to provide a mount for the internal compression stop screw.

The center bar, containing the gages, is a bending beam. It is supported by the outer frame containing four thin flexure points, two on the top and two on the bottom, to provide mechanical strength for side and moment loads. This construction provides the superior moment canceling capability of the SPI, which ensures a consistent weight indication anywhere within the weigh pan size limits.

The SPI High Capacity Platform Scale Load Cell is a high-precision sensor. This product is compensated for off-center loading and is available in capacities ranging from 25 to 150 lbf (111.2 to 667.2 N). These SPI load cells can be protected by placing hard stops under the corners of a weigh pan to catch the pan before excessive deflection damages the SPI cell.

Interface’s popular miniature MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell is a compact-sized SPI. The MBI has better resistance to off-axis loads than similar load cells and is fatigue-rated. This product has capacities from 2 to 10 lbf (10 to 50 N).

Reasons Why You Might Choose Single Point Impact Load Cells

  1. Precise Measurements – SPI load cells are designed to measure impact forces or loads exerted on a single point accurately and precisely. This precision is crucial in applications requiring precise force measurement for quality control, safety, or compliance reasons.
  2. Versatility – SPI load cells can be used in various industries, including material testing, impact testing, product durability testing, and process control. Their versatility makes them suitable for diverse applications requiring precise force measurement.
  3. Compact Design – SPI load cells are typically compact and lightweight, making them easily integrated into different systems and applications. Their small form factor allows for flexible installation and minimizes space requirements.
  4. Durability – SPI load cells are often constructed from robust materials such as stainless steel or aluminum, ensuring durability and reliability even in harsh operating environments. They are designed to withstand impact forces, vibrations, and other challenging conditions encountered in industrial settings.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness – Despite their high precision and performance capabilities, SPI load cells are often cost-effective compared to other load cells, making them a cost-efficient solution for many applications.

SPI load cells are often used in industrial settings for applications such as materials testing, impact testing, product durability testing, and quality control processes where the force exerted at a single point needs to be accurately measured. They are also utilized in various machinery and equipment to monitor loads and ensure safe operation. The SPI is popular with universities and test labs due to its precision and ruggedness.

If you are exploring single point impact cells, contact Interface application engineers to see how we can help you with your project or program.

Load Cell Mounting 101

Properly mounting a load cell ensures the sensor provides the most stable readings and accurate measurements. Although a load cell will function no matter how it is oriented and operated in tension or compression mode, mounting instructions are specific to each sensor model.

Interface provides complete product datasheets and drawings to locate the features for mounting. Our instructions include model, material, capacity, mounting holes, threads and dowel pins, and pilot specifications for live and dead-end use.

All load cells have a “dead” end and a “live” end. Commonly, the dead end is the mounting end directly connected to the output cable or connector by solid metal. Conversely, the live end is separated from the output cable or connector by the strain gage area of the flexure.

This concept is significant because mounting a cell on its live end makes it subject to forces introduced by moving or pulling the cable. However, mounting it on the dead end ensures that the forces coming in through the cable are shunted to the mounting instead of being measured by the load cell.

SPECIAL INTERFACE LOAD CELL MOUNTING TIP: The Interface load cell nameplate reads correctly when the cell sits on the dead end on a horizontal surface. Therefore, the user can employ the nameplate lettering to specify the required orientation to the installation team explicitly. For example, for a single-cell installation holding a vessel in tension from a ceiling joist, the user would specify mounting the cell so that the nameplate reads upside down. For a cell mounted on a hydraulic cylinder, the nameplate would read correctly when viewed from the end of the hydraulic cylinder.

WATCH: MOUNTING TIPS FROM OUR LOAD CELL BASICS WEBINAR

DEFINING YOUR MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS

Mechanical mounting is one of the most critical aspects determining your application’s success. This is a sensor-based decision, as load cell models have different features that can be used for various mounting requirements.

First, define how you will attach your load cells.  Are they going to be using threaded connections? Are you going to have the load cells press up against a surface? Are you using an actuator, rod-end bearings, or clevises?

Other considerations regarding mounting are the objects used to secure the sensor. Will you use adhesive? Will it be secured inline, or do you need a through-hole for mounting? Will you be using mounting plates, and what is the geometry of the plates? The material used and the stiffness of the mounting components can affect the measurement’s performance and accuracy. READ: Interface Sensor Mounting and Force Plates

The direction of the load will impact your decision on the best approach.  All load cells have a live end and a dead end. It is not a single direction; some live ends may be at the top or the bottom.  The live-end and dead-end design will influence your cable and wireless management.

If you apply torque when installing fasteners, it is important not to twist the sensor. Tip: Hold the load cell at the same end where you are installing a fixture to prevent damage to the device.

Load Cell Mating Surface Tips

  • The surface must be clean and flat
  • The mounting surface must be flat to 0.0002 total indicator reading
  • Suitable thickness and material
  • Recommended hardness of Rc 30 or higher
  • Mounting bolt torque according to specifications

Installation Care

Make sure the threaded connections are tight and preloaded, if possible. Pre-loading removes the system’s slop and prevents wear, which is critical when using the sensor for fatigue testing. It is also essential to pre-load to get the performance as designated in the calibration certification.

For compression loading, you want one flat surface and one radius surface. Make sure you only have one curved surface. Typically, the load cell will have a radius surface, so you will want to load it against a flat surface. Identifying the load point is harder if you have two flat surfaces. If you have two radius surfaces, they will tend to slide apart. This can create bending and be dangerous to the technician.

Interface offers load cells with and without bases. When supplied together, the base is engineered to be an appropriate and “matching” mating surface for the sensor.  If you are using a load cell without a base, it is important to mount it to something like the base in flatness, stiffness, and thickness so they do not deform under load. This is critical to get the most accurate measurement.

QUICK REVIEW: MOUNTING CHECKLIST

  • Load Cells not mounted by the manufacturer’s recommendations may not perform to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Make sure that mounting surfaces are clean, flat, and aligned.
  • Torque of all mounting hardware to specifications.
  • Always confirm the load cell orientation: the “dead” end on mechanical reference or load forcing source and the “live” end connected to the load to be measured. Typically, the dead end is the end closest mechanically to the cable exit or connector.
  • Use proper hardware (thread sizes, jam nuts, and swivels) to connect the load to the load cell.
  • It is fundamental to have one and only one load path.
  • This load path must be through the load axis of the load cell. This may sound elementary; however, it is a commonly overlooked problem.

Utilizing best practices in mounting is also extremely important. Deflections in the system can introduce errors and apparent crosstalk into the sensor measurement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Universal Load Cells 101

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Mounting Plates

6A Mounting Tightening Torques

3A Mounting Instructions

Flange Style Load Cells and Torque Transducers 101

Basics on Load Cell Base Kits

LowProfile™ Load Cell Base Kits

 

 

Interface New Products Release Winter 2024

Interface proudly presents a selection of new additions to our extensive product catalog designed to elevate your testing and measurement capabilities.

Challenge the limits of force measurement. Interface invites you to explore its Winter 2024 collection, meticulously crafted with testing engineers and technicians in mind. This lineup features pioneering Interface load cells pushing the boundaries of applications, complemented by versatile instrumentation and precision accessories for maximum data fidelity.

Our advanced system offerings and engineer-to-order options offer options for sensors to be tailored to your specific needs. Interface is your partner in precision testing innovation.

NEW INTERFACE PRODUCTS

IF500 LOAD CELL SIMULATOR

The model IF500 instrument is a 5V or 10V excitation-only load cell simulator with a state-of-the-art microprocessor-based design. The instrument excitation supply powers the IF500 and requires no batteries. The IF500-NIST is an added NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate.

Primary IF500 Load Cell Simulator features and benefits:

  • Set “ANY” mV/V value within ±5mV/V
  • State-of-the-art, microprocessor-based design
  • Sleep mode eliminates digital clock noise
  • Powered by instrument excitation supply… No batteries
  • Buffered Ratiometric output
  • 350-ohm bridge configuration
  • Stores up to 10 settings with sequential recall
  • Digital zero trim and storage
  • Low noise, low quiescent current, low-temperature coefficient, high stability amplifiers
  • Compatible with instruments using 5V or 10V excitation, including but not limited to Interface’s instrumentation models 9820, 9840, 9860, 9870, 9890, CSC/CSD, DMA/DMA2, DCA, INF1/INF4, ISG, SGA, and VSC.

ILMP STAINLESS STEEL LOAD MONITORING LOAD PIN

The ILMP Load Pin is machined from high-tensile stainless steel. Our load pins are built to exacting standards and are proof-loaded to 150% of the normal rated load. Interface load measurement pins are versatile and used in various applications, including cranes, winches, hoists, load shackles, and bearing blocks. They are easily installed into machines by replacing any existing load-bearing pin to provide accurate, real-time monitoring of load forces. The load pin can be supplied independently or combined with our extensive range of instrumentation to provide a complete load monitoring system.

Primary ILMP Stainless Steel Load Monitoring Load Pin features and benefits:

  • Capacities range from 1.1K lbf (500 kgs) to 3,307K lbf (1500 MT)
  • Keeper plate supplied
  • Environmentally sealed to IP67
  • Stainless steel construction

Options for engineered-to-order:

  • Integral connector
  • Submersible versions available
  • Integral signal conditioning providing 0-10V, 0-5V, 4-20mA, RS485 outputs
  • Hazardous area certified
  • Special electrical connectors
  • TEDS option

9812-WTS WIRELESS PANEL MOUNT DISPLAY FOR SINGLE TRANSMITTERS

The 9812-WTS Wireless Panel Mount Display For Single Transmitters displays data from any WTS wireless transmitter modules. It is part of the extensive Interface WTS Telemetry System. The data sent by transmitter modules can be utilized by multiple receivers such as displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules, and computer interfaces. Receivers support standard industrial power supplies and are available in robust IP-rated enclosures with internal antennas optimized to give outstanding coverage.

Primary 9812-WTS Wireless Panel Mount Display features and benefits:

  • Point-to-point connection to a single transmitter
  • Bipolar
  • 6-digit LED display (-199999 to +999999)
  • Four SPST mechanical relay alarms (2A@250VAC)
  • Peak and valley monitoring
  • Wireless communication and compatibility with all WTS products

 3411 INTRINSICALLY SAFE COMPRESSION-ONLY LOWPROFILE® LOAD CELL

The Interface 3411 Intrinsically Safe Compression-Only LowProfile® is a specially designed low-profile load cell with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output for use in hazardous locations. These load cells are derived from other proven Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and a shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility.

Primary 3411 LowProfile Load Cell features and benefits:

  • Capacity is 10k lbf
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Sealed connector
  • IP68 environmental protection
  • Internally amplified 4-20 mA output, loop-powered
  • Unipolar compression only
  • The spherical loading surface provides minimal off-axis loading

For more information about this product, acquire a datasheet or a CAD file, and please get in touch with an application engineer.

3450 SEALED COLUMN LOAD CELL WITH INTEGRAL CABLE FOR HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS

The Interface 3450 Sealed Load Cell is an intrinsically safe sealed column-style rod end load cell available in standard 55K lbf. Specially designed low profile load cells with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output for use in hazardous locations. These load cells are derived from other proven Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and a shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility.

Primary 3450 Sealed Column Load Cell features and benefits:

  • Tension and compression
  • Environmentally sealed IP65 and IP67
  • Certified for use in hazardous locations when installed per installation instructions
  • 8 ft (2.4 m) standard cable length

For more information about this product, acquire a datasheet or a CAD file, and please get in touch with an application engineer.

NEW PRODUCTS WEBINAR ALERT!

Interface experts Ken Bishop and Brian Peters offer a detailed technical discussion about new products with added use cases and engineering tips for each. This one-hour technical online event highlights the latest product additions in our 35,000+ catalog of force measurement solutions, including load cells, wireless devices, instrumentation, and specialty sensors. MORE INFO.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT RESOURCES

Be sure to visit our online selection tools to help you choose the best load cells, miniature load cells, multi-axis sensors, torque transducers, accessories, and instrumentation for your specific projects.

Our application engineers, genuine experts in force measurement, are eager to assist. Don’t hesitate to tap into their vast knowledge. They appreciate the opportunity to solve your toughest challenges.

Interface 2023 Top Products and Trends

As engineers, we demand complex data and proven performance, especially regarding the tools we trust with our test and measurement projects. That’s why Interface crunched the numbers on our extensive 35,000+ product catalog, analyzing real-world usage and online preferences to reveal the 2023 top force measurement products.

Whether you’re tackling demanding aerospace wind tunnel tests, optimizing robotic grips for industrial automation use in the factory, or innovating in medical device design that will save lives, there are options for precision measurement. This list provides a data-driven roadmap to the Interface products fellow measurement device seekers created through their product reviews and acquisition. We highlighted some of these trends and use cases in our recent post: Top 10 Trends in Test and Measurement.

Let’s delve into the real-world data and discover the Interface measurement tools that testing professionals, technicians, buyers, and engineers like you relied on in 2023.

2023 MOST VIEWED PRODUCT CATEGORIES

2023 MOST VIEWED INTERFACE PRODUCTS

2023 MOST VIEWED PRODUCT FEATURES

The most viewed products provide Interface product design and planning teams with insights about future projects. Whether you are designing a new consumer product that provides IoT sensing capabilities with an embedded Mini Load Cell or updating your test lab with multi-axis sensors, Interface learns from your interactions.

So, how did all of this translate to products we built this year? Interface customers selected these most popular load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation for various applications and use cases, including OEM solutions.

2023 MOST POPULAR INTERFACE PRODUCTS

Interface force measurement solutions proved a cornerstone of success, aiding in developing and testing countless innovative products. But with thousands of options in our catalog, pinpointing the most impactful measurement tools can be daunting. We can relate, so we designed a series of Interface Guides to help you navigate options based on your technical requirements and product specifications. Use these guides to start your research, then engage with our experienced application engineers to refine your options and get the right product for your specific needs.

NEW INTERFACE GUIDES HELP IN SELECTING THE RIGHT PRODUCT

Load Cell Selection Guide

Torque Transducer Selection Guide

Instrumentation Selection Guide

Data AQ Pack Guide

Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

Lifting Solutions Guide

Weighing Solutions Guide

We are ready to help dissect the specific features, capacities, and application requirements with you to conquer your force measurement complexities confidently. We look forward to supplying you with sensor technologies in 2024.

Interface 2023 Most Watched Videos

Interface understands one of the best ways to share our updates on test and measurement, industry solutions, use cases, capabilities, and products is through engaging digital formats. That is why we share considerable content every year on our YouTube channel, where you can subscribe.

Are you curious to see what resonated with the Interface followers in 2023? Dive into our top trending videos, uncover hidden gems, and discover the content that sparked curiosity, ignited ideas, and kept you coming back for more. This list of the most-watched videos of 2023 is like a peek into the collective minds of load cell enthusiasts, engineers, technicians, and measurement experts.

TOP NEW 2023 VIDEOS

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED VIDEOS OF ALL TIME

2023 WEBINAR RECORDINGS

What is the most viewed webinar this year? Load Cell Basics ranks #1.

This year, we also introduced a new format to our channel of videos that are under a minute in length. Our YouTube Shorts are quick snippets we find entertaining and educational. You can follow our Interface Shorts hereTOP INTERFACE SHORT OF 2023Load Cell Calibration

Interface has hundreds of videos. We add new videos to our channel monthly. An easy way to keep track of new content that interests you is to follow our Interface YouTube Playlists.

Be sure to subscribe to get the latest updates, like our last two videos of 2023:


Tune in to see what inspires, educates, and entertains us all! We look forward to staying digitally connected with you in 2024 and beyond.

Why Is Load Cell Zero Balance Important to Accuracy?

Several factors go into the accuracy and consistent performance of a load cell. These factors include non-linearity, hysteresis, repeatability, creep, temperature, environmental effects, and zero balance.

Every Interface load cell’s design and specifications account for all these factors. Understanding each of these factors is important, especially considering the use case.

Specifications are detailed descriptions that outline the characteristics, features, and qualities of our products, systems, or services. Product specifications detailing performance, capabilities, capacities, and dimensions are included on all datasheets. Products have internal specifications tested during manufacture, typically with full traceability.

Zero balance is considered an electrical load cell specification value. It is essential to consider when selecting the type of load cell for any application.

Load cell zero balance is the signal of the load cell in the no-load condition. It is defined as the output signal of the load cell with rated excitation and no load applied. It refers to the amount of deviation in output between true zero and an actual load cell with zero load. It is usually expressed in the percentage of rated output (%RO). Zero balance is a test that can be done to understand calibration on a load cell.

Load cells constantly reset to zero after every measurement to maintain accuracy. If it does not, then the results will prove to be inaccurate. The zero balance must be within the error margin indicated on the calibration certificate. Interface sensors are typically +/-1.0%.

This is important to test because zero balance will tell you if a load cell is in working order or has been damaged or overloaded. A computed zero balance of 10-20% indicates probable overload. If the load cell has been overloaded, mechanical damage has been done that is not repairable because overloading results in permanent deformation within the flexural element and gages, destroying the carefully balanced processing that results in performance to Interface specifications.

While it is possible to electrically re-zero a load cell following overload, it is not recommended because this does nothing to restore the affected performance parameters or the degradation of structural integrity. If the degree of overload is not severe, the cell may sometimes be used at the user’s discretion. However, some performance parameters may violate specifications, and the cyclic life of the load cell may be reduced.

To perform a zero balance test, The load cell should be connected to a stable power supply, preferably a load cell indicator with an excitation voltage of at least 10 volts. Disconnect any other load cell for multiple load cell systems. Measure the voltage across the load cell’s output leads with a millivoltmeter and divide this value by the input or excitation voltage to obtain the zero balance in mV/V. Compare the zero balance to the original load cell calibration certificate or the datasheet. Every Interface product has a detailed datasheet available on the product page of the sensor.

ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL DEFINITIONS

Zero float is the shift in zero balance resulting from a complete cycle of equal tension and compression loads. It is normally expressed in the units of %FS and characterized at FS = Capacity.

Zero stability is the degree to which zero balance is maintained over a specified period with all environmental conditions, loading history, and other variables remaining constant.

Learn more about the specification values that define load cell accuracy in this short clip from our  Demystifying Specifications Webinar.

Get your free copy of the Interface Load Cell Field Guide to learn more about factors affecting load cell accuracy. If you are concerned about the zero balance of your Interface load cell due to inaccurate results or recent damage, please get in touch with us at 480-948-5555.

ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL RESOURCES

Interface Technical Support Information and Troubleshooting

Interface Product Selection Guides

Interface Installation Guides and Operation Manuals

Interface Software and Drivers

Interface Product Catalogs

Interface 101 Blog Series and InterfaceIQ Posts

Interface Industry Solutions and Applications

Interface Recorded Webinars

Load Cell Simulator 101

A load cell simulator is a device that mimics the electrical signal of a load cell. This allows technicians to test and calibrate measurement systems without applying physical force or weight to the load.

By generating a range of input signals using a load cell simulator, technicians can assess the instrument’s linearity, sensitivity, and accuracy, ensuring it meets the required specifications.

The two most common uses for load cell simulators are troubleshooting and calibration. Load cell simulators can effectively troubleshoot force measurement systems, detecting and isolating faults or malfunctions. By simulating various load conditions and injecting fault conditions, technicians can pinpoint the source of the problem, such as a broken wire or a faulty load cell.

Load cell simulators are essential for calibrating force measurement devices, ensuring they accurately translate applied force into a measurable electrical signal. By generating a controlled force signal, technicians can compare the displayed value to the known input signal, identifying discrepancies and adjusting the device accordingly.

Interface load cell simulators are part of our accessories product line. They are an essential accessory and valuable investment for any testing lab or research facility frequently using load cells. These simulators can help to improve safety, reduce downtime, improve accuracy, lower costs, and increase convenience.

Why Use a Load Cell Simulator?

  • Testing and monitoring force measurement systems: Load cell simulators can test instrumentation performance used in force measurement systems, such as hydraulic presses, assembly machines, and material testing machines. By simulating forces that the system would typically encounter, the simulator can help identify potential problems with the instrumentation, ensuring that the system operates safely and efficiently.
  • Verifying proper indicator setup: Load cell simulators can be used to verify that an indicator is configured correctly for the type of load cells being used. This includes checking the scaling and the instrument’s linearity.
  • Cable checks: One of the first troubleshooting tips for any load cell application is to check the cables and connectors. A load cell simulator is valuable for checking cables.
  • Scaling: Load cell simulators are crucial for scaling force measurement devices, enabling precise calibration, troubleshooting, and testing. They play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of force measurements across various industries.
  • Calibrating scale indicators: Load cell simulators can generate a precise mV/V signal corresponding to a specific weight. This allows technicians to calibrate scale indicators to ensure that they are displaying accurate weight readings.
  • Application evaluation: Load cell simulators can be used to develop and troubleshoot force-related applications, such as medical devices, prosthetics, and exercise equipment. By simulating forces that users would typically apply, the simulator can help to ensure that the application is safe, effective, and operational.
  • Research and product development: Load cell simulators can be used to research new force measurement applications.
  • Technician training: Load cell simulators can educate and train technicians on the proper use and calibration of load cells.

Interface Load Cell Simulators

CX SERIES PRECISION MV/V TRANSFER STANDARD LOAD CELL SIMULATOR 

CX SERIES PRECISION mV/V TRANSFER STANDARDModel CX Series Precision mV/V Transfer Standard is the market’s most accurate load cell simulator. This NIST Traceable product is commonly used to calibrate and check instruments in accredited labs.

  • Most accurate load cell simulator
  • Special low thermal EMF construction
  • Each unit is individually calibrated, aged, and recalibrated
  • Strong, rugged design
  • Instrument substitution testing

In the series, models CX-0202, CX-0610, CX-0440, CS-0330, and CX-0220 are used to set up and check the Gold Standard® System Hardware. CX-0440, CX-0330, and CX-0220 are single-step mV/V transfer standards providing precision outputs of ±4, ±3, and ±2 mV/V respectively. CX-0610 is a multi-step unit that allows the user to go from -6 mV/V to +6 mV/V in 1 mV/V steps. Model CX-0404 is specifically designed for instrument substitution testing as per ASTM E74.

EVALUATOR 3 LOAD CELL SIMULATOR 

Evaluator 3 Load Cell SimulatorThe Evaluator 3 variable range simulator is well suited for basic troubleshooting needs, offering nine fixed intervals from -5 mV/V to +4.5 mV/V.

  • ABS plastic case
  • Weighs less than 1 lb (0.45 kg)
  • Fixed rotary switch, -0.5 mV/V to 4.5 mV/V in 9 steps of 0.5mV/V per step
  • Used in testing and troubleshooting mV/V instrumentation

IF500 LOAD CELL SIMULATOR 

The new model IF500 is a 5V or 10V excitation-only load cell simulator with a state-of-the-art microprocessor-based design. It is a cost-effective simulator with advanced instrumentation capabilities. The instrument excitation supply powers the IF500 and requires no batteries.

  • Set “ANY” mV/V value within ±5mV/V
  • State-of-the-art, microprocessor-based design
  • Sleep mode eliminates digital clock noise
  • Powered by instrument excitation supply… No batteries
  • Buffered Ratiometric output
  • 350-ohm bridge configuration
  • Stores up to 10 settings with sequential recall
  • Digital zero trim and storage
  • Low noise, low quiescent current, low-temperature coefficient, high stability amplifiers
  • Compatible with instruments using 5V or 10V excitation, including Interface’s instrument models 9820, 9840, 9860, 9870, 9890, CSC/CSD, DMA/DMA2, DCA, INF1/INF4, ISG, SGA, and VSC
  • Options include: NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate, Screw Terminal Adapters for the BNC Connectors and Cable Adapters

Application Examples for Load Cell Simulators

Manufacturing: Load cell simulators are essential for calibrating and testing force measurement devices used in manufacturing processes, ensuring accurate force control and product consistency. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Manufacturing Solutions.

Food Processing: Load cell simulators are critical in calibrating and troubleshooting force measurement devices, ensuring precise portion control, and maintaining food safety standards.  ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Force Measurement for Efficiency in Food Processing and Packaging

Construction: Load cell simulators are employed for testing and calibrating force measurement devices used in construction applications, such as crane load monitoring and material testing. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Construction Solutions

Medical Devices: Load cell simulators are utilized for calibrating and verifying the accuracy of force measurement devices in medical applications, such as patient weighing scales and rehabilitation equipment. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Medical and Healthcare

Interface load cell simulators are indispensable tools for scaling force measurement devices, providing a safe, efficient, and cost-effective means to ensure the accuracy and reliability of force measurements across diverse industries. Their ability to calibrate, troubleshoot, and test force measurement devices contributes to product quality, process control, safety, and regulatory compliance, making them essential for maintaining the integrity of force measurement systems.

Interface Column Load Cells

A column load cell is a type of load cell designed with a cylindrical or column-shaped housing. It is typically used in applications where the load or force is applied vertically, and the sensor is installed in a way that the load is directed along the central axis of the column.

Interface column load cells are often used for vertical force measurement applications, including weighing scales, silos, structural tests, and thrust testing. Column load cells are rugged, providing a more durable solution for exposure to environmental conditions. Interface column load cells are typical for high-capacity thrust and structural testing.

A column load cell, by design, handles higher axial (vertical) loads while maintaining accuracy and reliability. Column load cells are designed for vertical force measurement. They are more robust, durable, and often larger than a standard canister load cell.

Canister load cells are typically more compact, making them a good choice for applications with limited space and where easy installation is a priority. A LowProfile “pancake style” load cell is compact and flat, with a lower height than column load cells. LowProfiles are the most popular Interface design of a load cell due to their versatility. The choice between using a column load cell, canister style load cell, or LowProfile depends on the specific needs of the application, capacity, environment, and dimensions.

Popular Interface Column Load Cells

Interface Column Load Cells are available in high capacities, in both tension and compression, as well as compression-only options.

2160 HIGH-CAPACITY COLUMN LOAD CELL

The Interface 2160 High Capacity Column Load Cell offers high performance and highly durable design. It is typically used in high-force measurement applications. It has capacities up to one million lbf (4450kN), with custom options to go higher.

  • Performance to ±0.15% FS
  • Standard capacities of 300K lbf to 1000K lbf (1334 kN to 4448 kN)
  • Screw-in Handles
  • Tension and compression measurement
  • Standardized output
  • ASTM E74 calibration
  • Special thread size
  • Dimensionally compact
  • Multiple bridge

SPECIAL NOTE: Why choose a tension and compression column load cell? It’s based on the use case. Weighing of objects that can be subjected to both tension and compression forces, such as aircraft and vehicles. Force measurement in applications where both tension and compression forces are present, such as cable tension testing and load-bearing applications

2161 HIGH-CAPACITY COLUMN COMPRESSION ONLY LOAD CELL

The Interface High Capacity Column Compression-Only Load Cell Model 2161 is applicable for high-capacity compression-only measurement applications. It is available in capacities from 300K to 1000K (1335 to 4450 kN). Options are available for a 2nd bridge.

  • Standard capacities of 300K lbf to 1000K lbf (1334 kN to 4448 kN)
  • Performance to ±0.15% FS
  • Compression-only
  • Standardized output
  • ASTM E74 calibration
  • Handles for easy movement and lifting
  • Accessories, including cables and mating connectors

2200 CALIBRATION COLUMN LOAD CELL

The Interface high accuracy 2200 Calibration Column Load Cell is a guided column design. It is lightweight and portable for use in the field. It measures tension and compression. Their high performance and capacity make them excellent for calibrating in aerospace, industrial, and manufacturing labs.

  • Capacities from 100K – 200K lbf (445kN – 889kN)
  • Performance to <0.10%FS
  • Quadruple the gages of the standard column cell
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Various models, including the 2230 and 2240, are available.
  • Compression-only available
  • Standardized output
  • ASTM E74 calibration
  • Special thread size

2300 HIGH CAPACITY FLANGE MOUNT COLUMN LOAD CELL

The Interface High Capacity Flange Mount Column Load Cell 2300 Series is a column design with a flange mount for easy installation. It is available in capacities of 630 kN (140K lbf), 1000 kN (225K lbf), and 2000 kN (450K lbf) and has options available for a 2nd bridge.

  • Accuracy class 0.05% FS
  • Tension and compression
  • Low profile and low mass
  • Fixed cable or plug connection
  • Flange mounted
  • Easy installation
  • Optional redundancy with a dual bridge for axial force measurement
  • Option for TEDS calibration IEEE 1451.4
  • Models 2330, 2340, and 2350 are available.

Column Load Cell Applications

Column load cells are a viable option for diverse applications across various industries, from rocket tests to construction monitoring equipment. Their ability to accurately measure force and withstand harsh environments makes them a valuable tool for ensuring safety, efficiency, and quality.

Aerospace: In the aerospace industry, column load cells measure the weight of aircraft during loading and unloading, ensuring proper weight distribution and safe flight operations. These rugged load cells are a common feature of thrust test stands.

Infrastructure: Many infrastructure projects rely on column load cells. They are embedded in structures, such as bridges, buildings, and equipment like cranes, to monitor load distribution and prevent overstress or collapse of critical infrastructure. For example, column load cells can test the axial load-bearing capacity of piles, ensuring the stability of foundations and structures.

Machinery and Storage: In agricultural and industrial use cases, column load cells monitor the weight of silos, tanks, and hoppers containing materials. By installing column load cells beneath these containers, you can continuously measure the weight of the contents for storage and process control, allowing operators to track material levels and prevent overfilling or underfilling, which can lead to production issues and safety concerns.

Weighing Systems: Column load cells are commonly used in industrial weighing systems, such as platform scales, floor scales, and truck scales. These load cells are placed under the platform on which the objects or materials are placed for weighing. A logistics warehouse installs column load cells within the floor scales for accurately measuring the weight of pallets or goods. This is valuable data for storage, inventory management, and shipping.

Construction: Material testing and quality control applications use column load cells to measure compressive forces. In a construction material test lab, these load cells can be integrated into testing machines to evaluate the compressive strength of concrete, bricks, or other construction materials.

Energy: Renewable energy use cases for column load cells include measuring the loads exerted on wind turbine towers, ensuring structural integrity, and preventing damage during high winds. Column load cell are also used in field testing for extraction equipment.

Is a column load cell right for your use case?  Contact our application engineers to explore your options.

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