In-situ load measurement

Safe Technology has partnered with Wolf Star Technologies to develop fe-safe/True-Load, an advanced solution for accurate in-situ load measurement.

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Safe Technology (Sheffield, U.K.) has partnered with Wolf Star Technologies (Milwaukee, Wish., USA) to develop fe-safe/True-Load, an advanced solution for accurate in-situ load measurement. The developers say that fe-safe/True-Load will benefit those who know very little about their loadings, but want to perform fatigue life calculations, as well as those who already run advanced testing programs but want to improve their efficiency and reduce testing costs. This measurement system turns complex components into multi-channel load cells. Working with finite element models, it optimizes the location of strain gauges on a component. After strain measurement in the field, it then calculates the time histories of each individual applied load. These loading histories can be used for laboratory testing, or applied as loads in a fatigue-from-FEA (finite element analysis). The FEA strains reportedly will match the measured strains with good accuracy. Particularly suitable applications include any components that see environmental loads such as chassis, suspensions and frames in automotive and ground vehicle applications, landing gear and wing components in the aerospace industry, and wind and wave applications in the power generation industries.

The system transforms complicated structures into load transducers by using results from user-defined unit loading, and/or mode shapes, to determine ideal strain gauge locations and orientations for optimal load sensitivity independence. Suggested strain gauge locations can be interactively modified by the user through True-Load/Pre-Test, with immediate feedback regarding load transducer effectiveness. fe-safe/True-Load offers in-situ load calculation with typical strain gauge correlation to within 2 percent of measured values. True-Load/Post-Test produces multichannel data files, load definition files (LDF) and fe-safe macros. Complex structures can go from strain gauge measurement to FEA fatigue results in a matter of minutes.