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Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface’s event, Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions, details various transducers, instrumentation and accessories that are designed to withstand environmental stresses and harsh conditions.

The types of testing use case that require ruggedized solutions are material testing, high and low temperature environments, structural and fatigue tests, high cycle count tests, any test for products exposure to moisture or humidity, pressure tests, as well as underwater and in-fluid tests. As noted, this applies to every industry, including maritime, aerospace, food packaging, consumer products, construction, medical devices and automotive.

Interface considers ruggedization as force measurement solutions designed and fabricated for use in extreme environments and applications, ability to operate within accuracy specifications while withstanding one or more environmental stresses or harsh conditions.

During this event, Ken Bishop and Elliot Speidell details the top factors when evaluating test and measurement products used in extreme environments, such as exposure to high or low temperatures, depth of submersion, moisture and water concerts, dust, and other harsh conditions. They present key questions to answer when evaluating your testing requirements, as well as top considerations.

These important evaluation subjects and ruggedized product factors are based on years of experience in collaborating with companies around the world. They define use cases and actual examples of Interface load pins, instrumentation, stainless steel load cells, enclosures and accessories used in all types of harsh and even hazardous environments.

Here is a quick preview of all the topics thoroughly discussed during this event.

  • 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 & Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products

The entire online seminar is now available on-demand. Watch it here.

Top Selling Interface Ruggedized Products

These types of products follow strict certification standards and ratings. During the online seminar, Interface product experts detail the standards and ratings related to intrinsically safe products, sometimes referred to as hazardous location use, as well as solutions designed to meet safety, regulatory or compliance requirements.

The standard ensures that an intrinsically safe device is incapable of triggering combustion or igniting any gasses or vapors. The device is safe to use around dust and gas without risking static electricity or heat discharge from the device igniting the surrounding volatile gasses, powders, and liquids.  Explosion proof applies to a device enclosed in a case that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion.  Should there be an explosion, it will be contained within the enclosure.

Interface offers products with different IP ratings, including IP66, IP67 and IP68 applied to different transducers and instrumentation. Ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.

  • IP65 – Dust-tight, protected against water jets
  • IP66 – Dust-tight, protected against powerful water jets
  • IP67 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of temporary submersion in water
  • IP68 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

What is the difference between IP66 and IP68? IP68 enclosures also provide dust-tight performance against solids. However, they are also rated for significantly better defense against water ingress than an IP66 enclosure. An IP68 enclosure can withstand submersion for over 30-minutes at up to a specified water depth.

Interface also has a range of instrumentation products that are NEMA, and IP rated based on the enclosure and housing designs.  These include:

Interface offers standard and customized solutions. Contact our application engineers to discuss your options and how to ensure you have the right product to match the conditions of our test and measurement environment.

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar

Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.

Interface Submersible Load Cells

Interface load cells and force measurement devices are designed for all types of environments. Providing solutions to those working in and serving the maritime industry is our priority. Interface offers products engineered to provide accurate and reliable measurement data near shore, offshore and underwater.

Interface offers a variety of force measurement products that are designed for harsh environments and submersible use cases, both for single tests as well as designed into components and manufactured goods. Often these products are used for continuous regulatory and safety monitoring applications.

Interface submersible load cells and specialized sensors can transmit data through underwater applications and harsh weather conditions. These load cells can survive through underwater submersions at different capacities, and relay information to surface level or underwater devices. Interface load cells are used to regulate harsh maritime situations such as underwater tension lines, underwater drilling, as well as for storm and tsunami monitoring.

Submersible load cells are available in a range of capacities and configurations, from miniature load cells to load shackles. Interface provides standard submersible products as well as custom solutions that are designed to the exact specification. We also provide instrumentation solutions that can be fully sealed with wireless components. Working with our expert engineers, we can provide waterproof housing of sensors, including for our line of LowProfile Load Cells and Interface Multi-Axis Sensors to be used in harsh environments and underwater.

An example of a submersible product is the Interface WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell. This is an environmentally sealed tension and compression load cell useful for rugged conditions. The stainless steel construction and small size of the load cell provides many benefits when used in underwater applications.  This model is available in capacities ranging from 5 to 500 lbf (22 to 2200 N) and utilizes Interface’s proprietary temperature compensated strain gages for precision measurement applications.

Another example of a submersible product is the Interface ISHK-B Load Shackle. It is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, including submersible applications. The shackle pin is forged from high tensile stainless steel and high tensile carbon steel. Every load shackle is machined to exact specifications. The ISHK-B is internally gaged and the whole instrumented area is sealed to IP67 to protect it in service. The WTSSHK-B is the wireless version.

So, how do we guarantee accurate results even when these products are submerged or splashed? It’s all in the design, similar to the way new iPhones are made to be waterproof, our load cells can be designed to remain water-tight and accurate at a variety of depths. All electronic components are sealed so that data can be recorded and transmitted via waterproof cables or wirelessly.

Below are two examples of real applications that required Interface’s submersible load cell solutions.

Hydrofoil Testing In Wave Tank

Hydrofoil design is a delicate balance between performance and complexity. Finding the right shape without using overly complex angles to achieve the desired amount of lift is crucial when designing a successful hydrofoil. Once an engineer’s concepts are ready for testing, the best force measurement equipment is required to sense the subtle differences between hydrofoil designs. Lift and drag are the most important characteristics of a hydrofoil. The 3A120 3-Axis Force Load Cell is needed to read these forces. The Fz senses lift and the Fx and Fy sense the drag. The 3-Axis Force Load Cell and bridge amplifier are protected in a waterproof housing. The watercraft is placed in a wave tank or current simulator. Using the BSC4D-USB bridge amplifier increases the visibility of the load cell’s output signals. When using the load cell and bridge amplifier, the engineers can record the real-world lift and drag forces that the hydrofoils apply on the watercraft. This data allows a more in-depth comparison of proposed hydrofoil designs to find the best model for the job. Read more about this solution here.

Mooring Line Tension Testing

Due to the changing weather conditions, mooring cable lines undergo wear and tear. A customer wanted to ensure all mooring lines for ships or vessels are securely loaded at the same tension, so that they do not risk the mooring lines breaking or causing damage. Interface’s WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cells can be attached to each mooring cable while in use. Results are sent through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station when connected to the customer’s supplied computer. Data can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters, giving the customer the option to view multiple mooring cable line tensions. Using this solution, the customer was able to verify the tension on multiple mooring cable lines. Thus, resulting in their ship being safely docked and secure. Read more here.

Interface expert engineers can help you design customizable solutions for all types of applications using our products designed for offshore, underwater, and splash zone locations.

Here are a few more examples of products we provide to the maritime industry.

Additional Resources

Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications

Deeper Dive into Maritime Solutions from Interface

CASE STUDY: Serving the Maritime Industry

Maritime Brochure

Interface Explores Maritime Applications Near and Offshore

 

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

Prosthetic 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 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.