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Enclosures 101

Individuals in the engineering and manufacturing world know Interface well for the reliability and accuracy of our force measurement products. However, some may not know that we also provide a wide variety of instrumentation and accessories for force measurement systems. One of those accessories that enhance the usability, durability, and ease of accessibility for force measurement products are enclosures.

Enclosures come in a wide variety of form factors and can be used for single or multiple products. Their purpose is to help in protecting devices, as well as facilitate easier mounting capabilities. They can also be used to combine multiple instruments to create a full measurement system for data recording and ongoing analysis.

Interface enclosures protect your sensor and instrumentation investments. They are durable for mobile force measurement solutions and are an easy-to-care for addition to any system.

There are a range of Interface enclosures, including NEMA rated options. NEMA ratings are a convenient system established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association to rate how well various types of electrical enclosures protect against environmental hazards such as dust and dirt, water ingress (whether hose-directed, precipitation or submersion) and corrosion.

As detailed in our recent Ruggedized Test & Measurement Solutions webinar, here is a quick reference to NEMA ratings.

Single and Dual Instrument Enclosure

NEMA 4 Enclosure provides a convenient way to mount single and dual instruments (1/8 DIN Package) to walls and other vertical structures. Choose between bottom or rear exit cable glands. Both 110V and DC power options available.

Single and Dual Channel Internal Mount Enclosure

The internally mounted plastic NEMA 4 enclosure for 1/8 DIN single and dual instrumentation provides a convenient way to mount to walls and other vertical structures. This enclosure provides a greater degree of protection than other enclosures because the instrument is mounted behind a clear polycarbonate cover. The cover is secured with four screws. Includes bottom exit cable glands.

Interface Enclosure Examples

Special Purpose Wireless Enclosure

NEMA 4 Enclosure for 1 or more instruments (1/8 Din Package) that accommodates WTS Wireless Instrument Model WTS-9812 and related wireless antennas. Compatible with the Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which includes sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software. The WTS gives sensor manufacturers and integrators the complete flexibility to build their own sensor modules around it. The system easily replaces wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs. Connect wireless to one or more WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cells.

Single Instrument Enclosure

This NEMA 4 Enclosure provides a convenient way to mount single instrument (1/8 DIN Package) to walls and other vertical structures. Choose between bottom or rear exit cable glands. Both 110V and DC power options available. The instrumentation panel of for this type of instrumentation are available for use with Interface Models 9825 General Purpose Indicator9890 Strain Gage Load Cell, Mv/V Indicator, 9894 Analog Input Process Indicator and others.

Dual Channel Benchtop Enclosure

Designed for benchtop and laboratory use, these enclosures provide an alternative to panel mounting of meters when an instrument panel is not available. Suitable for 1/8 DIN size dual instrumentation. Attractive, no-maintenance, black ABS polycarbonate material. They provide a finished instrument look to what would otherwise be isolated meters on a work bench or shelf. Cooling slits in top and bottom surfaces. Analog output connector option available.

Special Purpose Portable Systems

Custom Enclosure that can be built to accommodate customer requirement for any instrument or load cell type. Features and options available for custom system enclosures include:

  • Environmental Sealed Case with IP67 Rating
  • Custom Cut Foam Inserts
  • Instrumentation
  • Force Sensors – Standard, Engineered-to-Order and Custom
  • Cables and Connectors
  • Internal Battery Pack
  • Onboard Battery Charger
  • Internal
  • DC Power Charging Receptacle
  • AC Power Charging Receptacle
  • AC to DC Switch
  • Internal Cooling Fan

Watch to learn more

Rack Mount

Also available is a mounting rack that accommodates the BX8-HD15 BlueDAQ Series and BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series. The mounting rack holds up to five BX8 lab enclosures. Simultaneous acquisition and evaluation of measured values up to 40 channels with key guard and synchronization cable (included in delivery).

Enclosures provide special sealing options to protect instrumentation from harsh or hazardous conditions. They are a perfect pairing with using sealed sensors including Interface’s Load Cells, S-Type Load Cells and Load Beams, Miniature Load Cells and Load Buttons, Coil Tubing Load Cells, Load Washers, Load Pins, Tension Links and Shackles.

To learn more about our enclosure options, please contact our application engineers.

Enclosures Brochure

Stainless Steel Load Cells 101

Different materials are used in designing and building force sensing products based on the environmental conditions. The choice of materials is important when considering specifications, test and measurement environment, and use case. One of the best metals for keeping environmental factors away from the electronics of a load cell is stainless steel.

The three main metals used in making load cells and other force sensing products is aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. The output signal performance for stainless steel load cells is in the middle of steel and aluminum standards.

The main benefit of stainless steel is the fact it is the best material to use in a corrosive environment because of the metal’s environmental resistance properties. The downside to stainless steel is that it is a bit more difficult to machine; however, it does only require a simple heat treatment process. It is also the most expensive metal of the three and has the highest hysteresis.

Why choose stainless steel over the more cost-effective steel and aluminum options, especially when it is not the strongest or provide the best signal output? Interface recommends stainless steel when the user needs to collect data from a load cell in a hazardous environment or under harsh conditions.

Interface offers stainless steel sensors as part of our hermetically sealed ruggedized load cell product lines. We make stainless steel load cells of all sizes and capacities, including stainless steel miniature load cells, load washers, and customized load pins. Using stainless steel not only keeps users safe, but it also allows for high-quality, accuracy and reliability in extreme environments.

These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that our products are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of those working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.

Some of our stainless-steel load cell options include:

To help keep individuals and workplaces safe, manufacturers create tools and equipment that are protected from the elements in these environments and will not expose electronics to hazardous environments. Interface’s contribution to this is our ruggedized load cells, many of which are made with stainless steel materials due to its strength in these harsh environments. We also carry a specialized line of intrinsically safe products.

There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that design solutions for or work in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. The solutions they use to measure force must provide the type of specifications that are suited for these types of conditions.

To learn more about these products, join the conversation Ruggedized Solutions for Test & Measurement, where we discuss:

  • Defining Ruggedized
  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test and Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products
  • Do’s + Don’ts
  • FAQs

This is a live event that takes place Tuesday, November 15, 2022. To register or get a copy of the recorded event, go here.