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Push Your Motorsports Team to the Limit with ITM’s Rod End Load Cell Expertise

Strain Gauged Shock Eyelet Overlayed on a Formula One Racecar

Strain Gauge installed on a Shock Eyelet which is Overlayed on a Formula One race car.

Turn our strain and torque load cell experts loose to gain performance on your test track

At ITM, your race car’s exact load and downforce can be precisely measured using rod end load cell and torque load cell technology. 

Putting our strain gauging expertise to work allows race teams from NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar and others to modify designs, decrease stress and gain a competitive advantage.

Putting our strain gauging expertise to work allows race teams from NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar and others to modify designs, decrease stress and gain a competitive advantage. 

A strain gauge, or load cell, is an instrument that is commonly affixed to the vehicle’s various components — including the rod end, suspension pushrods, gear lever, steering column, driveshaft, pedals and more. These instruments can then measure the wheel load, for example, as a car hugs a tight turn in real time. The in-vehicle data logger picks up every load change caused by high-speed acceleration, breaking and maneuvering. 

Ultimately, load cells and strain gauges are an irreplaceable tool for anyone looking to push the limits and fully understand racecar performance. 

Our engineers have installed load cells and strain gauges on structures and machinery around the globe for decades. We take pride in perfecting the art of strain gauge application, logging, measurement and analysis — whether on vehicles, medical devices or rocket components. 

We are also confident in our custom iTestSystem software, which allows us to stream and analyze load cells, strain signals and do real world fatigue data acquisition. Contact our strain lab and technicians to build a custom real time strain monitoring system or to design, build, calibrate and test strain-based load cells. 

Contact us for more information about our automotive, strain gauging and testing services.

Applying Modern Methods to Study Civil Structures

Concrete Science: ITM Applying Modern Methods to Study Civil Structures

ITM has spent the last two decades testing the limits of steel, aluminum, composites, and other materials. From the heights of space to the depths of underground mines, our team has improved the art of using strain gauges to measure stress on metal, machines and complex systems. As the Milford, Ohio, firm enters its third decade, ITM engineers have returned to the lab to demonstrate some of the methods to measure rebar reinforced concrete using strain gauge technologies.

Concrete literally holds together much of our modern world, yet, many of our civil structures built in the mid-20th century are crumbling. From bridges to buildings, concrete is cracking and failing at an alarming rate, yet few are applying modern engineering methods to measure and monitor this foundational material we all rely upon.

As part of recent experiments, ITM staffers crafted test materials into mini concrete beams to illustrate how the materials hold up under stress and, more importantly, what it takes to capture the data. In our lab we placed 4-inch square by 18-inch long concrete beams under several thousand pounds of load using a hydraulic press. Gauges were affixed not only on the outside of the beams but also embedded inside the beam along the rebar used to reinforce the concrete. We used a laptop running our iTestSystem Software, an NI cDAQ-9171 Chassis, and NI-9236 modules to capture data from the strain gauges installed on the concrete specimens.

The data captured as the beams were brought to failure revealed the superiority of certain sensor bonding materials and methods during the testing. Importantly, it also showed that the stress along the internal rebar and that of the gauges on the outside of the concrete beams remained in sync as evidenced by the graphs that reveal the stress data.

Our team will continue these studies to show various methods currently being used to measure stress & strain in concrete structures and concrete crack propagation, the importance of which is only reinforced by news of deadly building collapses and aging civil structures. Stay tuned for more blogs detailing our findings and best practices for using today’s technology to measure structural concrete cracking.

For more information on this work, our testing services or iTestSystem, contact: Ryan Welker – Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM), LLC – ryan.welker@itestsystem.com

Engineering Data Acquisition Tools: NI-9237 Bridge Input Module

For bridge type sensors and most strain gauges configurations (full and half bridges), our engineers will opt for the NI-9237 C-Series module to acquire strain and bridge data instead of the NI-9235 or NI-9236 modules.  Unlike the NI-9236 module, the NI-9237 can acquire data from:

  • Any resistance strain gauge (not just 120 or 350 Ohm)
  • Quarter, half, and full-bridge strain gauge configurations
  • Torque and load cells (off-the-shelf and custom)

The NI-9237 is a 4-Channel C Series strain/bridge input module that contains circuitry to power, scale and calibrate strain and load sensors .  For quarter and some half bridge measurements a bridge completion module must be used in conjunction with this module. The NI-9237 module provides internal bridge excitation (2.5V, 3.3V, 5V, or 10V) and shunt calibration resistors for sensor scaling verification. To collect synchronized and scaled high-speed (50kHz) structure strain and load cell data, use our iTestSystem engineering measurement software.

For more information about the NI-9237, DAQ module rental, strain gauge installations or our data logging solution iTestSystem, contact Ryan Matthews via email: ryan.matthews@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797 x706.

iTestSystem Tip: Sensor Auto-zero Utility Update

Our iTestSystem customers who routinely acquire data with high channel counts and data from full-bridge transducers recently requested that we update the sensor auto-zero utility to improve test setup efficiency.   In the latest version of iTestSystem, we updated the sensor auto-zero utility to include all channels that use the From Custom Scale option.  This update enables users to quickly adjust selected channel offsets with only a few mouse clicks.

One of our test engineers recently used this feature to test and calibrate a new load cell design for measuring loads in a manufacturing process.  He was able to quickly calibrate and zero the strain gauges along with a calibrated load cell and a pressure transducer prior to testing and before each directional test. The offset values are included in the calibration data files for traceability.

Contact Information: For more information about this update or iTestSystem contact:

Chase Petzinger – Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM), LLC. Email: chase.petzinger@itestsystem.com or Phone: 1.844.TestSys