Off-Axis Loading 101

Off-axis loading refers to a situation where a load cell, which is a device designed to measure force or weight, is subject to forces that are not aligned with its primary sensing axis. Load cells are typically designed to measure forces that are applied along a specific direction or axis, which is known as the primary sensing axis. When forces are applied to the load cell in other directions, this is referred to as off-axis loading.

Off-axis loading can affect the accuracy of load cell measurements, as the load cell may not be able to accurately distinguish between forces that are applied along the primary sensing axis and forces that are applied in other directions. This can result in errors in the measured weight or force.

To minimize the effects of off-axis loading, load cells are often designed with measures to reduce sensitivity to forces applied in other directions. These may include mechanical features such as strain relief structures or specialized materials that are more resistant to off-axis loading. Additionally, load cells are often installed and used in ways that minimize the likelihood of off-axis loading, such as aligning the primary sensing axis with the direction of the applied force. Be sure to carefully follow all Force Measurement Installation Guides provided with sensor.

What can be done to protect from off-axis loading?

Off-axis loading can affect the accuracy of load cell measurements, so it is important to take steps to protect against it. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Use proper mounting and alignment: Load cells should be mounted and aligned in a way that ensures that the primary sensing axis is aligned with the direction of the applied force. This helps to minimize off-axis loading and ensure accurate measurements.
  • Use appropriate accessories: Using accessories such as adapters or mounting bases can help to ensure that load cells are properly aligned and oriented, minimizing the potential for off-axis loading.
  • Use anti-rotation features: Many load cells are equipped with anti-rotation features, such as bolt-hole patterns or keyway slots, which help to prevent the load cell from rotating around its mounting point. This can help to maintain proper alignment and reduce the effects of off-axis loading.
  • Use overload protection: Overload protection features, such as limit switches or stoppers, can be used to prevent load cells from being subjected to excessive forces or moments. This can help to prevent damage to the load cell and ensure accurate measurements.
  • Use a protective enclosure: Load cells can be placed in protective enclosures that shield them from external forces and environmental factors. These enclosures can help to protect against off-axis loading, as well as other types of interference.

By taking these steps, load cell users can help to protect against the effects of off-axis loading and ensure accurate and reliable measurements.

Product designs that mitigate off-axis loading

Engineers are constantly working to design new load cells that are more resistant to off-axis loading.  In fact, Interface product engineers have several products that are designed to protect from off-axis loading, including:

  1. ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell
  2. SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell
  3. MBP Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell
  4. MRTP Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer
  5. MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell
  6. LBMP Overload Protected Compression Load Button Load Cell
  7. SMT Overload Protected S-Type Load Cell
  8. WMCP Overload Protected Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell with Male Threads

By optimizing the mechanical design of load cells to minimize their sensitivity to off-axis loading this can include use of materials, such as composites or alloys, which are more resistant to deformation and strain. It also includes the use of specialized geometries that can help to distribute forces more evenly and reduce the effects of off-axis loading.

As well, engineers utilize built-in electronic compensation to correct for the effects of off-axis loading. This may involve using additional sensors or feedback loops to monitor the load cell’s response to external forces and adjust the output accordingly.

Interface engineers use a multi-disciplinary approach to designing load cells that are more resistant to off-axis loading. By combining advances in mechanical design, electronics, manufacturing, and simulation, they are creating load cells that are the most accurate in by classification in the world.


ConvexBT – The Most Innovative Load Button Load Cell

Eccentric Loading Analysis for SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell White Paper

Addressing Off-Axis Loads and Temperature Sensitive Applications

Benefits of Proof Loading Verification

How Do Load Cells Work?

Interface Celebrates Engineers

This week we are celebrating National Engineers Week at Interface. E-Week is an annual event first celebrated in 1951, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the engineering profession and the contributions that engineers make in the world.

Engineers Week matters to Interface. We have multiple types of engineers throughout our company that provide critical expertise, including application and custom solution engineers, product engineers, electrical and design engineers, and our manufacturing engineers. They are all, collectively and individually, are vital in helping to define, create, build, and deliver world-class force measurement solutions. We profile many of Interface engineers in our monthly ForceLeaders series.

E-Week matters because every day we work with incredible engineers around the world. We recognize the contributions of these engineers from diverse backgrounds throughout all types of industries. Fortunately, we get to interact with many engineers from companies to help solve critical challenges, improve testing capabilities, confirm new product designs, and discover advancements in their area of expertise with the ability to measure with accuracy.

There are many different engineers that come to Interface for different force measurement solutions, including:

  • Product engineers who are responsible for the design and development of products, from concept to final production. They depend on Interface for solutions used in the testing and validation of the product. Read more in Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface.
  • Civil engineers who design, construct, and maintain infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, and water and sewage systems. Read Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products
  • Mechanical engineers who design and develop machinery, equipment, and products, such as engines, turbines, and tools.
  • Electrical engineers that work with electronics, power systems, and electrical equipment, designing and developing electrical systems that power devices and machines.
  • Aerospace engineers that design and develop aircraft, spacecraft, and other related systems used to explore the galaxies. Here are some examples of aerospace solutions.
  • Environmental engineers who work on projects related to environmental protection, such as air and water pollution control, waste management, and sustainable development.
  • Materials engineers who work with materials in testing materials, developing new materials, and improving existing ones.
  • Biomedical engineers who work on projects related to healthcare, designing, and developing medical devices and equipment, such as prosthetics and imaging systems.
  • Quality engineers who ensure that products meet the required quality standards using testing methods to identify and resolve quality issues. Quality engineers use Interface product to monitor production processes. Find out more here, Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions.

We see what you do, and it’s worth celebrating! Interface is fortunate to collaborate and supply engineers working in a wide variety of industries and for a diverse range of companies, both large and small. We benefit through learning how to best help engineers in industries, that include:

Aerospace and Defense: Companies in this industry develop and manufacture aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other defense-related products.
Automotive: Companies in this industry design, develop, and manufacture vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles.
Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals: Companies in this industry develop and manufacture drugs, medical devices, and other healthcare-related products.
Construction: Companies in this industry design and build infrastructure, including buildings, bridges, and roads.
Electronics and Semiconductors: Companies in this industry design, develop, and manufacture electronic products, including computers, smartphones, and other consumer electronics.
Energy: Companies in this industry produce and distribute energy, including oil and gas, renewable energy, and nuclear energy.
Manufacturing: Companies in this industry produce a wide variety of products, including consumer goods, industrial equipment, and machinery.

Interface is heavily reliant on the skills and experience of our own engineers. We celebrate our team members, our partners, our customers, and those that are benefitting from the advancements engineers make every day to our society. Happy E-Week!