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 S-Type Load Cells 101

There are many different types of devices used in test and measurement from load cells to torque transducers and tension links to multi-axis sensors. In addition, there are sub-categories in each of these product types that are based on various specifications, capabilities, capacities, and application requirements.

Discussing load cells specifically, there are different models and configurations depending on the use case, the amount of force measurement or weighing requirements for a particular load, dimensions, and even test environment considerations. No matter what our customers need, we have standard and custom load cells up to the task. In our 101 series, we are highlighting the innovative miniature load cell sub-category of Interface S-Type Load Cells.

What Is an S-Type Load Cell and What Is It Used For?

S-type load cells, sometimes called s-beam, gets its nomenclature from the “S” looking model of the load cell. It is shaped this way because it is designed to measure well-controlled tension and compression forces. There are preferred by engineers and testing labs for the precision, size, material, and ability to fit in limited spaces. They are often used for weighing, in test machines as well as product designs for ongoing performance measurement by OEMs.

An s-type load cell will often be used within a system designed to stress test products in a controlled environment for fatigue and product testing to measure the way the product stands up to force over long periods of time. The benefit of Interface S-Type Load Cells is that they are very cost-effective, highly accurate, easy to mount, and offer flexibility because it can be used universally for tension and compression testing. They are also smaller than typical load cells, providing major benefits when there are limitations in space or for smaller test product dimensions.

Interface has a wide range of specialized miniature s-type load cells including sealed, micro-size, fatigue-rated, high-temperature ratings, low height, overload protected and intrinsically safe to meet all types of testing protocols and plans. You can see all the s-type models here.

An s-type load cell is generally used with eyebolts or rod-ends when used in tension and this can cause binding or the associated hardware to unthread. These uniquely designed load cells should not be used when weighing an object that can sway or rotate. Additionally, an s-type load cell is not recommended when the load cell will be used for both tension and compression, where accuracy in compression is critical. In this case we’d recommend a shear type of load cell.

S-Type Load Cell Applications

Prosthetics Load and FatigueProsthetic Load and Fatigue Testing

Prosthetic limbs must be tested for extreme loading that can occur during falls, accidents, and sports movements. Fatigue testing of prosthetic components determines the expected lifespan of the components under normal usage. Interface suggested a static load test apparatus using SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell attached to hydraulic actuators to apply and measure loads. The fatigue testing machine uses SSMF Fatigue Rated S-type Load Cell to apply and measure cyclic loads. During the fatigue test, the actuator repeatedly applies and removes the force to simulate activity such as walking. Tilt tables may also be used to apply forces at various angles to simulate the heel-to-toe movement of walking or running. Using this solution, engineers can determine whether prosthetic materials and designs will withstand the rigors of daily use and occasional high load situations. Read more here.

Furniture FatigueFurniture Fatigue Cycle Testing

To meet safety protocols in relation to the manufacturing of various furniture products, fatigue testing, shock testing, and proof testing must be rigorously performed before diffusion into the marketplace. Force testing simulations on furniture products are critical in determining the posted max loads to protect manufacturers from liability due to damages that might result from the misuse of those products and overloading. Using an Interface Model SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell along with Interface Model 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator provides a solution that measures the force being applied in fatigue cycle testing of a furniture product, in this case testing the rocking mechanism in an office chair. Unlike other similar load cells, the Model SSMF is fatigue rated making it highly suitable for fatigue testing. No fatigue failure of any fatigue-rated Interface load cell, used within its ratings, has ever been reported. The furniture manufacturer was able to obtain accurate data about the rocking mechanism the office chair as it was fatigue cycled into failure. Adjustments were made to the design to improve the safety and life of the furniture, ensuring product quality and protecting the manufacturer from future liability. Read more here.

Interface S-Type Load Cells are highly effective, accurate and flexible products used for a wide variety of applications needing compression and tension force testing. To learn more about Interface’s S-Type Load Cells, you can also visit here or call us today to speak to an application engineer who can help you select the right product for your next project at 480-948-5555.

Interface Holiday Wish List

As we turn the corner on another great year at Interface, it comes with grace and gratitude to everyone that played part in our 2019 story. And with that, we wish everyone a very joyous holiday season.

To our customers, we appreciate your loyalty and trust. We know you rely on us to accomplish big things and ensure what you do is safe, reliable, durable and accurate. To our team members, our partners, our representatives, and distributors around the world, our success is your success. You are the faces of Interface and everything you do makes a difference.

Reflecting on the past year, we thought we would share what we know best. That’s what you like best!  We compiled a quick list of the top 10 products we sold this year to give you an idea of what’s hot and trending in force measurement.

Here are the items that were on the wish lists of engineers, testers, and lab technicians around the world by quantity of most frequently purchased.  By the way, this list excludes our calibration services and the unique solutions we design for our OEM customers.

BEST SELLING FORCE MEASUREMENT PRODUCTS OF 2019

  1. Mini Compression Load Button Load Cell – This top-selling Interface LBM load cell is available in capacities from 25 to 50K lbf, is environmentally-sealed and made of stainless steel.
  2. LW General Purpose Load Washer Load Cell – A big seller, the Interface Load Washer is available with a wide selection of OD, ID, heights and in various combinations. It is also made of stainless steel.
  3. SGA AC/DC Powered Signal Conditioner – Our SGA Signal Conditioner is a very popular instrumentation device that provides user-selectable analog output ±10V, ±5V, 0-10V, 0-5V, 0-20mA and 4-20mA as a single channel that powers up to four transducers.
  4. SM S-Type Load Cell – This high-demand S-Type Load Cell is for high-performance tension and compression testing. It utilizes proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages.
  5. 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell – The 1200 LowProfile Load Cell model series outsells all others. It is eccentric load compensated and has low deflection and shunt calibration. It can be used in tension and compression testing.
  6. T4 Standard Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer – With more than 50 torque models available, this particular Interface T4 Torque Shaft Style Rotary Transducer has capacities from 0.1 Nm to 1K Nm (0.88 lbf-in to 8.85K lbf-in). It has contactless data transmission with digital electronics with on-shaft design.
  7. MB Mini Beam Load Cell – Our low capacity mini load cell has Interface temperature compensated strain gages with performance to 0.03%, low deflection and low height with 1-inch max.
  8. 1100 Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cell – The Interface model 1100, with a range of capacities, is selected among our best low profile load cells. It has very low nonlinearity, hysteresis, eccentric load sensitivity, and temperature sensitivity.
  9. 9320 Battery Powered Portable Load Cell Indicator – A very popular instrument, Interface’s 9320 Indicator is handheld and features two independently scalable ranges, peak and valley monitoring, display hold, mV/V calibration, and a power save feature. Typical battery life exceeds 40 hours of continuous use (450 hours in power-save mode), and is TEDS plug and play compliant.
  10. WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell – Our most popular wireless load cell, often purchased as part of the entire Wireless Telemetry System (WTS), is compact in size and has capacities from 300 to 100K lbf (1.5 to 450 kN), with performance to 0.0425% and a 2.4 GHZ transceiver.

With thousands of products, we certainly have a diverse and broad selection of products and force measurement solutions. We didn’t include all our custom and OEM solutions or calibration services in our best selling list.

As we head into 2020, we look forward to working together to supporting your latest projects and unique applications, as well as helping to achieve your goals in the new decade!  We appreciate you and thank you for your business!

Happy Holidays from your Interface Team!