Announcing the Launch of the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Interface is excited to announce the release of a new downhole solution for the energy industry, the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell (IPCD).

The IPCD is a Wheatstone bridge foil-gaged-based force measurement solution using proprietary compensation methods and designed to provide highly accurate force data in harsh environments, like those found in the oil and gas industry, while requiring limited maintenance compared to similar solutions on the market. This is a product line that is many years in the making, as we’ve offered it as a custom solution. In fact, it has been developed across multiple applications to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.

Interface’s new IPCD product is best suited for tension head applications of wireline services, particularly useful in deviated or horizontal wells where topside measurements are no longer reliable. Many applications include conveyance, pump down, perforating, tractor, and high pressure high temperature deep offshore use.

The key benefit the IPCD provides over existing solutions, commonly referred to as “wet” load cells, is its method of compensation. Wet load cells have a hydraulic compensation mechanism that uses pistons and seals, requiring frequent maintenance. Hydraulic compensation is complex for smaller tool providers and performance was suboptimal. For the IPCD, Interface developed a proprietary technology that compensates for that pressure influence and allows for bridge isolation. This means that the IPCD is far more rugged, needing little to no repairs, and it can be used downhole without risk of damage, a first of its kind in the industry.

It provides accurate measurement of downhole tension conditions in both vertical and horizontal wells and the proprietary internal compensation actively measures only the portion of the load caused by axial force, ignoring the portion of the load caused by pressure. Since it is an inherently passive system with no active pressure measurement being made or using a separate transducer, it is a completely analog solution for reliability and temperature stability.

We also test the IPCD heavily before it leaves our doors. The oil and gas industry can be extremely volatile, so we understand that our load cells need to be at peak performance for every use. Each load cell is tested individually on force, creep, temperature and pressure.

Advantages of the new proprietary Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell include:

  • IPCD is a standard product from Interface and available today
  • IPCD offers maintenance-free service with significant long-term payback by eliminating disassembly, downtime, calibration, and instrumentation configuration
  • Interface’s new product is a precision with unmatched performance
  • IPCD has minimal thermal and pressure error, combined with world class linearity and hysteresis
  • It has field proven reliability and was designed based on a decades of engineering and force measurement experience

To learn more about the IPCD, we recently published a white paper that goes deeper into how the unit works, the specifications of the solution, as well as providing additional information on our testing process. You can read more about the IPCD in our new technical overview, Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell White Paper available online for download.

We also issued a press release announcing the launch of IPCD.

This new product launch is a collaborative effort involving many of our team members in engineering, production and sales.


Tension Links 101

A tension link load cell is commonly used in lifting, both for short and long distances, and weighing applications. This type of load cell sensor generally has capacities ranging from 2.2K lbf to 1.1M lbf (5 to 500 metric tons). All tension links are available in custom versions and large capacities based on the customer’s project requirements.

Interface’s Tension Link series is manufactured from high tensile aluminum and stainless steel. Matched to shackle sizes, the load links have a rugged design for uses in harsh environments on the surface and in water. The tension links are environmentally sealed to IP65, IP66 or IP67. There are higher ratings available upon request.

A major benefit of Interface tension links is the option for custom designs in dimensions, ratings and capacities. The tension links are easy to install and are highly accurate.  They are compact in size and light weight. Another benefit is the options available, which include standard, wireless and self-indicating, giving the operator a variety of application use cases for quick measurement readings.  Self-indicating tension links have a built-inaudible alarm, which can be set by the operator to warn when an applied weight or force is met.

Often, customers will integrate the tension links with an Interface Crosby styled load shackle for robust applications that require accurate and reliable force measurement used for lifting, weighing, hoisting or towing apparatus that need sensors for safety and monitoring.

Wireless options are growing in acceptance for all types of uses. Interface provides wireless tension links that are compact and reduce the overall product weight based on the casing used to house the small alkaline batteries, which can be easily accessed by removing the telemetry housing cover while the internal electronics remain completely sealed. The antenna is also internally mounted, protecting it from accidental damage during use and handling, which is ideal for harsh environments.

Watch this discussion to learn more about the wireless features of the Interface Tension Links and Load Shackles.

Interface’s most popular tension links include:

WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load CellDesigned for lifting applications requiring short or long distances. This product can transmit wirelessly up to 600 meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station. Model WTSTL is available in capacities ranging from 11K lbf to 220K lbf (5 to 100 metric tons). Custom versions and larger capacities are available upon request.

ISITL Self-Indicating Tension Link Load CellManufactured from high tensile aluminum to minimize weight, the ISITL is great for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments.  The self-indication tension link load cell is ideal for mobile use cases.  It is simple to install and is matched to standard shackle sizes. They have a built-in display for applied weight or force in tons, kgs, lbs or kN. Interface can also offer a custom software to meet any specific application requirements for digital display or readouts.

ITL Tension Link Load Cell – This basic tension link can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model ITL is available in capacities ranging from 11K lbf to 220K lbf (5 to 100 metric tons). Custom versions and larger capacities can be requested at no additional charge, based on the exact specifications needed by the customer.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins, load shackles and tension links, please visit