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Load Pins 101

A load pin is a type of load cell that can replace bolts, clevis, sheave, and equalizer pins, as well as other load-bearing components to measure tensile and compression forces. Load pins are internally gauged with a bored center containing strain gauges, allowing them to convert force into an electrical signal for engineers to accurately collect data.

Most applications for load pins in the past have been for overhead equipment like cranes and lifts. Load pins have expanded in popularity and are now often used to test and measure force, load, and limitations in a much larger variety of applications. This includes uses not only for cranes and lifting devices, but also construction equipment, industrial machines, nautical craft and equipment, aerospace, and civil engineering applications. A primary system approach with structural applications is for safety and to prevent excesses in loading and lifting.

New model types with wireless and Bluetooth technology are also resulting in more use cases for these specialized force measurement solutions. This applies to both test and measurement as well as for installed OEM components within a larger structure or apparatus.

Top Load Pin Benefits

  • Easy to install new or retrofit
  • Robust construction
  • Replaces existing load bearing pins without any system modifications
  • Engineered to order designs available
  • Can be supplied with integral connector
  • Custom sizes and higher capacities available

Load pins come in many standard shapes and sizes, as well customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Interface provides these measuring devices, which often replace a bolt or pin, for safety and application monitoring. Some of our load pins are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use.

The Interface Load Pins are machined from high tensile stainless steel and are suitable for exposed situations including seawater. We offer standard load pins with ratings between 1.1K lbf to 3.3M lbf (500kgs to 1500 MT). We also offer custom manufactured load pins suit applications from 100 kgs to 1500+ MT.

LP Stainless-Steel Load Pin – Great for lifting applications for both short and long distances. This product can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model LP Load pin is available in capacities up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN).

WTSLP Wireless Stainless-Steel Load Pin This advanced load can transmit wirelessly up to 600 (1,969 feet) meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station.  The capacities range goes all the way up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN). The wireless option utilizes low power consumption for long battery life. It is configured and calibrated via PC using a base station and telemetry toolkit and compatible with Interface WTS Wireless products. The load pin is robust and uses a lightweight housing. It is environmentally sealed to IP67.

Load Pin Application

One of the largest scale applications of load pins we provided were used to measure force on a large bridge infrastructure project in the western U.S. The goal was to continuously monitor the standard force created by regular traffic, as well as the seismic force before, during, and after earthquakes. The monitoring sensors needed to be integrated into a dampener that would be attached to the structural tower.

The solution allows the company to monitor force from emitted data to cross-reference the standard traffic force with the seismic force to understand its effect on the bridge. Its purpose is to help with predictive maintenance and influence future bridge designs to better compensate for the forces of an earthquake or other natural disasters, which are common in this part of the world.

READ THE SEISMIC BRIDGE MONITORING APPLICATION NOTE HERE

READ THE INFRASTRUCTURE CASE STUDY HERE

The project required a custom product that could handle the inimitable and considerable force of a bridge under every scenario of distress. Engineers developed a custom load pin to handle the force of movement in the bridge in the event of an earthquake. This load pin was much larger than our standard version and is rated at 900,000 lbf. The large load pins were designed to be integrated into the dampener with wireless data acquisition modules connected to the load pins to allow for remote access to the data. With the integration of Interface’s custom load pins and data acquisition module, the customer was always able to continuously collect data for real-time evaluation. The sturdy construction of our load pins and 900,000 lbf rating allowed for readings during all degrees of seismic activity.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins and there many applications, please contact our application specialists today.

Seismic Application for Interface Load Pins

The range of applications of force measurement is wide-ranging across many industries. You can find Interface Mini Load Cells are frequently used to measure minute forces in precision medical devices, while our jumbo precision load cells that are rated for 2,000,000 pounds of force (lbf) are used to measure the force of rocket thrust.

Interface recently completed another extraordinary force measurement solution for a large scale infrastructure project, the first of its kind for the 51-year-old company.  Engineering and solution experts created custom load pins to measure the seismic force on the Gerald Desmond Bridge. There are interesting details that give a perspective on how force is used to provide safe passages.

Sensors are essential in innovation, with a dependency on accuracy and reliability that impacts lives and ingenuity.

BACKGROUND

The Gerald Desmond Bridge, a bridge located in Long Beach, California, opened in 1968. It is a major commuting route for the region, and a major trade corridor carrying 15 percent of all containerized cargo imported to the United States. The bridge connects Terminal Island, the heart of the port complex, with the Long Beach Freeway as well as downtown Long Beach. In 2012, a large civil construction contractor was tasked with replacing the existing steel arch bridge with a new suspension bridge rising more than 200 feet over the water.

CHALLENGE

The contractors, an Interface customer, wanted to find a way to measure the force on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the event of an earthquake. The goal was to continuously monitor the standard force created by regular traffic, as well as the seismic force before, during, and after earthquakes. The monitoring sensors needed to be integrated into a dampener that would be attached to the structural tower. The solution that would allow the company to monitor force from emitted data to cross-reference the standard traffic force with the seismic force to understand its effect on the bridge. Its purpose is to help with predictive maintenance and influence future bridge designs to better compensate for the forces of an earthquake or other natural disasters, which are common in this part of the world.

SOLUTION

Interface was engaged to create a unique infrastructure solution. It required a custom product that could handle the inimitable and considerable force of a bridge under every scenario of distress. Interface engineers developed a custom load pin to handle the force of movement in the bridge in the event of an earthquake. The load pin is much larger than our standard version and is rated at 900,000 lbf. The large load pins are designed to be integrated into the dampener with data acquisition modules connected to the load pins.

RESULTS

With the integration of Interface’s custom load pins and data acquisition module collect data at all times. The sturdy construction of our load pins and 900,000 lbf rating allow for readings during all degrees of seismic activity. We are also able to ensure product durability because the failure rating of the custom load pins is maxed out to 2.7 million lbf. An added benefit of this project was the Interface R&D efforts applied to create future data acquisition modules like this that utilize wireless technology.

Source: Ted Larson, VP of Product Development

READ COMPLETE CASE STUDY HERE

Interface Case Study for Bridge Project

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