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Enhancing Friction Testing with Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-axis sensors premier benefit is the ability to collect multiple data points to provide a more complete picture during product design and testing phases. The ability to measure on multiple axes at one time not only offers more accurate data, but it also speeds up the test process. Essentially it requires fewer variables, like using multiple load cells. One force testing application that benefits greatly from multi-axis sensors is friction force testing.

For purposes of definition, friction is the resistance a surface or object encounters when moving over another.

The coefficient of friction (fr) is a number that is the ratio of the resistive force of friction (Fr) divided by the normal or perpendicular force (N) pushing the objects together.

The force exerted by a surface as an object moves or attempts to move across it is what is called friction force.  Though it is not always the case, the friction force often opposes the motion of an object. A friction test will look to measure the resistance preventing the objects from moving without interference or restriction against each other. For purposes of measurement, sliding and static friction are the two most common.

Traditionally, the friction testing process for trying to measure multiple axes was completed using two or more single axis load cells that would measure force on each axis separately. Unfortunately, this process required the user to have multiple load cells of the same design on hand for such testing. Most importantly, this methods results could include parasitic losses to accuracy.

By introducing a multi-axis load cell like the 3-axis sensor, the user can get a more complete picture with less time and lower costs. The benefits of using a 3-axis sensor include the ability to eliminate parasitic losses and move the measurement closer to the specimen. Also, 3-axis sensors allow for simultaneous measurements of the x, y and z axis without additional load cells.

In our recent webinar Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Solutions, Keith Skidmore details a friction testing example and the benefits of using multi-axis sensors. He explains, in a friction test where you want to apply a weight to a specimen and then drag that specimen across a surface, that drag force could be measured with the single axis load cell. This works great assuming the weight is constant that you are pulling. The assumption in your testing accuracy is that the specimen doesn’t move during the test, so to prevent it from tipping over you probably have guides or an applied object. The issue is this type of application or guide might create parasitic loads and create a non-repeatability system.

How do you constrain the system without affecting the measurement in this type of friction testing? One way to do it would be using a three-axis sensor right above the specimen. Now you can use guides and it doesn’t matter because the sensor is sensing right at the test specimen. You can pull on it, the data channel shows the change in weight as you slide providing your fixed weight. Then you’ve got your friction force which tends to want to move side to side.

Users can also consider a 6-axis load cell for friction testing. 6-axis load cells provide even more data on all six axes, and also allows the user to adjust out of any off-axis components. Users that are interested in knowing the rotational component of the friction testing machine may also want to consider 6-axis. Using a 6-axis would allow you to measure tendencies in rotation or other effects from fixturing.  More data, better analysis and ability to control your testing specimens.

Recently, Interface introduced an application note detailing the use of a 3-axis load cell to measure and test a friction force machine. Check it out below:

Friction TestingFriction Testing

A testing laboratory was looking to replace two single axis load cells used in their friction testing machine with one sensor that could measure force on the x, y, and z axis simultaneously. Interface suggest installing a 3A60 3-Axis load cell their existing machine with an Interface BSC4D-USB Multi-Channel PC Interface hooked directly to a PC laptop to monitor and log the data in real time. Using this solution, The testing laboratory was able to simplify their sensor set-up and improve their data collection, creating more value for their end customer.  You can read the entire application note on friction testing here.

 

New Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells

One of the common trends in test and measurement is the growing demands for better, more complete sources of data to provide relevant, accurate and viable information to make smart decisions. A significant step towards empowering our customers with more data capabilities is in the ever expanding 2-axis, 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion multi-axis load cell product lines. These requests frequently come with requirements for reduced physical sizes, in dimensions, while keeping the same level of capacity and capabilities. All in the end goal of securing more measurement data.

The benefit of multi-axis is that they are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors provide multiple bridges that precisely measure the applied force from one direction with minimal crosstalk from the other axes. We can measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes. Benefits are compounded when these sensors are paired with our data acquisition and amplifier systems that make graphing, logging and displaying data easy enough for any experience level.

As the demand for these products grow across industries, Interface continues to develop new configurations and total system solutions for new and unique applications. We are continuously adding to this line of products In fact, we recently added a few new series of multi-axis sensors aimed at covering a wider spectrum of product tests and custom measurement applications just this month. Included below is a list of the new products we’ve introduced in July, which provide more options to select a multi-axis solution right for your unique needs.

NEW MULTI-AXIS LOAD CELLS

3A40 3-Axis Load Cell

The Model 3A40 has three independent axes in a small package size. Capacities available are 2N, 10N, 20N, and 50N. The product is made from aluminum alloy so it is very light weight.  The 3A Series 3-Axis Load Cell is ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as aerospace, robotics, automotive and medical research. The load cell is provided in various capacity ranges and sizes with each of the three axes providing the same capacity.

3AR Series Round 3-Axis Load Cells

The 3AR 3-Axis Load Cell Series features a round construction, compact size and low crosstalk. The load cell is provided in various capacity ranges and sizes with each of the three axes providing the same capacity. We are happy to work with our customers design needs, providing a custom design if warranted for varying capacities (between X, Y, and Z), higher temperature capability, or OEM and private labeling if needed.

6A Series 6-Axis High-Capacity Load Cells

Interface’s 6A Series 6-Axis Load Cell measures forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. 12 full bridges provide mV/V output on 12 independent channels. A 72-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. Interface’s BX8 Amplifiers, which includes BlueDAQ software, greatly simplifies the data acquisition process. The new Models 6A225 and 6A300 are available.

Interface multi-axis load cells are ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as aerospace, robotics, automotive and medical research such as orthopedics and biomechanical use cases. In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic design via multi-axis testing. The energy industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace and defense systems applications.

Multi-axis is the future of force measurement. More axes of data gives the users a better idea of the whole testing picture, which leads to better, higher quality products. We’re proud to be leading the multi-axis load cell trend and will continue to serve our customers with new products, and custom solutions designed for every need.

ADDITIONAL MULTI-AXIS RESOURCES

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

To learn more about our multi-axis product lines, check out the product page on our website at www.interfaceforce.com/product-category/multi-axis-sensors/. You can also call one of our application engineers to determine which product is right for your needs at 480-948-5555.

Here is the complete Multi-Axis Solutions brochure

Multi Axis Brochure

Contributor: Keith Skidmore, Custom Solutions Engineer & Sales Director

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

For more than 50 years, Interface has proven itself as the premier provider of load cells, with the most accurate and reliable products on the market. As the technical landscape has evolved, we have invested heavily in new technology to suit the growing needs of our customers. One of the most important innovations we’ve brought to market over the past few years is our lineup of wide-ranging multi-axis sensors.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensors are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors provide multiple bridges that precisely measure the applied force from one direction with minimal crosstalk from the other axes.

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor 3-Axis Load Cell

Interface offers 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cells, which provide the ultimate in force and torque measurement. We can measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes. In addition, we offer multiple data acquisition and amplifier systems which make graphing, logging and displaying data easy enough for any experience level.

Our customers work in a wide variety of industries, and we are continually seeing new applications of our range of multi-axis sensors. These sensors are used in aerospace, automotive, medical and more.

The following application examples provide a clearer picture of the benefit of this force measurement and sensor technology.

Rocket Structural Testing – In rocket and aerospace testing, there are a million different considerations to ensure a proper launch. One of the vital force tests that need to be conducted is on the connection between the rocket and the launch vehicle. There are force and moment in multiple directions at the connection point. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors can be used to test not only the strength of the connection but also ensure a safe disconnection between the rocket and launch vehicle.

Drone Testing – One of the most interesting applications of our multi-axis sensors is in the drone industry and in areas of urban mobility. Our sensors are used to test the drone’s rotor. The drone will always pull on the sensor to create the most significant force; however, there is also a slight amount of moment that needs to be accounted for. We were able to calibrate a semi-custom load cell to account for both the large pull force and the small moment force to provide the most accurate data possible.

Prosthetics – Another impressive application of our multi-axis sensor technology is in the medical industry. We helped to test the multiple force and torque data necessary to build a strong and reliable prosthetic knee joint and spine. Each of these prosthetics has multiple motions on many axes. To measure the quality of the prosthetic and to ensure it doesn’t fail when implanted in a patient, medical OEM’s need to be able to collect data on each of these axes simultaneously.

The need for measurements on multiple axes has grown over the last couple of years because of the desire to use big data to create better products. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors provide the accurate measurements our customers need and the ability to collect those measurements simultaneously, which has created a significant boost in efficiency.

To learn more about Interface’s expanding lineup of multi-axis sensors and data acquisition systems, please contact our team of experienced Application Engineers or visit /product-category/multi-axis-sensors/.

Contributor: Keith Skidmore, Regional Sales Director at Interface

Multi-Axis-Brochure

Interface Products Available to Buy Online with QS48 E-Commerce Service

The new QuickShip48® e-commerce service from Interface provides customers with an easy way to get the industry-leading force measurement products quickly and shipped within two business days.

The new QS48® Now service brings hundreds of Interface’s highest in-demand load cells, mini load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, indicators, and signal conditioners to customer’s doorsteps within a few days for their important test and measurement projects.

“As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate in the digital age, our customers need reliable and accurate test and measurement tools quickly. Our new online QuickShip48 e-commerce service guarantees fast access to in-demand products to meet our customer’s urgent development schedules and helps them get their innovations tested and to market faster.” Joel Strom, CEO, Interface

QS48 TruckInterface has hundreds of in-stock force measurement products available with the one-stop online shopping experience. The QuickShip48 accelerated e-commerce service offers a wide range of Interface’s readily available products that can be purchased with a credit card and shipped within two business days. All QS48 Now products ship from the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Arizona and are sent with expedited shipping to arrive within three to five days within the U.S.

Popular Interface products in multiple capacities and models are now available for online purchase at new QS48 e-commerce store, including:

For a complete list of QuickShip48 Interface products that are available for online purchase and 48-hour shipment, visit our new QS48 store at https://quickship.interfaceforce.com/.

If you need a quote or a custom solutions request, contact our experienced Application Engineers or connect with our local Representatives and International Distributors for assistance.

 

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

The increasing consumer demand for smarter and more sophisticated products is transforming design practices. Data-driven design is now at the forefront of product development and has become the catalyst to the explosion of sensor technology. Engineers require an increasing number of sensors to measure every aspect of their product. In response to this market need, we have developed a family of Interface Multi-Axis Sensors.

The Interface Multi-Axis Sensors measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors can precisely measure the applied force from one direction with little or no cross-talk from the force or moment. Interface’s  3-axis6-axis, and axial torsion load cells provide excellent performance and accuracy in force and torque measurement.

“Our multi-axis sensors measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes.” Ken Bishop, Custom Solutions Director, Interface

The key advantages of Interface’s Multi-Axis Sensors are three-fold:

  1. The ease in which Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells can be set up and put in use provides a user-friendly experience. The software takes very complicated mathematics and presents it in a simple and understandable format. As an example, check out this quick video to see how easy it is to set up the 6-Axis to BX8-HD44.
  2. Interface products are known for accuracy and performance. The Interface Multi-Axis family of products provides the most accurate and comprehensive data readings on the market.
  3. Longevity is a common problem with most multi-axis Sensor products because of the various angles of stress the load cells endure. Interface products are built to last. The combination of robust design and strong materials ensure that Interface Multi-Axis Sensors remain in proper working order for longer than any similar device on the market.

Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells are ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical research (orthopedics and biomechanical). In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic design via multi-axis testing. The automotive industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace applications.

Interface is helping provide crucial data to global product engineers across all industries, which has never been available before. Our Multi-Axis Sensors have become a key component to optimizing designs in complex, multi-faceted products. With the data available today through Interface’s unique test and measurement products, engineers have the freedom to be more innovative in product design and development and meet the demands of consumers.

Read about our latest BX8 8-Channel Data Acquisition System and Amplifier and 6-Axis 6A Series 6-Axis Force and Torque Load Cell

An Interface customer ran into challenges when testing a new car seat by attempting to measure the force with a standard load cell rated at 550 pounds. After applying only 150 pounds of force, the load cells would break. While helping to troubleshoot the issue, Interface realized that the unique contour of the car seat was applying twist pressure that surpassed the standard load cells moment rating. Interface provided the customer with a 6-Axis Load Cell and they were able to measure the force on multiple-axis to optimize the car seat design. This is an example of a unique product development environment in which Interface Multi-Axis Sensors thrive.

By Ken Bishop, Custom Solutions Director, Interface

 

Taking Flight with Interface

When the aerospace industry needs a force measurement solution provider, they’ve turned to Interface for the past 50 years. There is no room for error when it comes to the hardware that keeps airplanes and helicopters safely airborne, and therefore Interface products are the easy choice for Fortune 500 and innovators in www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace from around the world.

Interface specializes in ground testing for aerospace vehicles. Our products are used in flight simulations, aircraft production, and structural, static and fatigue testing on fuselages and wings. We are the leader in moment and temperature compensation, and a unique differentiator of our load cells is their ability to accurately measure or isolate side loads.

The Interface force measurement standard, modified and custom products that we supply to the aerospace industry typically include:

  • LowProfile™ Load Cells
  • Mini Load Cells
  • Multi-Axis Sensors
  • Calibration Frames

The durability, reliability, performance, and accuracy of Interface load cells are what leads the market.  Unlike others, Interface’s load cells do not lose their accuracy over time. In fact, we just received a calibration order that included some of the very first load cells ever made by Interface. Simply said, our load cells are still on the production floor after 40 years of use.

Our load cells actually demonstrate improvements in performance the longer our customers have them.” – Ashish Desai, Director, Engineering and Technology, Interface

Our precision is the key to our success for aerospace, as well as all our industry solutions. To engineer high-precision load cells, we first start with the flexure. The flexure must be symmetrical, and a great deal of machining art goes into our symmetry process. We have strict control of the process, which also includes making our own strain gages. By maintaining tight control over all processes, Interface can better match the materials that go into the load cells, leading to higher performance.

Each Interface load cell is designed and manufactured at Interface corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.  This single location benefit gives customers the added convenience of not needing to accommodate their designs to account for inaccuracies resulting from generic strain gages that are not made in the same place by the best in force measurement engineering and manufacturing.

Interface load cell features are important to the aerospace industry because not only does the longevity of our load cells save our customers money, our precision guarantees that measurements are accurate. One tiny inaccuracy in the measurement of airplane wing’s force capacity can cause critical failures and have devastating effects.

Interface also has all the necessary certifications for working with the aerospace industry including ISO17025, NCSL Z540 and ASTM E74. These standards of excellence demonstrate our ability to serve our customers to the highest degree, on the ground and for taking flight.

Contributor: Ashish Desai, Director, Engineering and Technology, Interface