Ixthus Instrumentation is promoting its capability for down-hole strain-gauging, which enables strain gauges to be installed inside customers' components for direct measurement of strain. The patented technology saves space, removes extraneous errors and enables engineers to create innovative designs for equipment and test rigs. Recent developments in the durable down-hole strain gauge technique from Strainsert Inc enable forces as low as 100N to be measured, and bores to be as small as 3mm in diameter for holes 100mm deep. The typical force measurement range across standard and customised down-hole strain gauges is between 100N and 5MN, with 0.1 per cent linearity.
Down-hole strain-gauging is available through Ixthus in Strainsert's standard load-sensing product range that includes flat load cells, load sensing bolts and studs, tension links, and clevis pins; however, Ixthus is also able to provide OEMs and research organisations with these miniature strain gauges directly assembled into customised load-bearing components and structures. Ixthus can either manufacture strain-gauged components to customers' designs or work with free-issued parts - with full calibration and certification as required.
Unlike strain gauges that are installed on the outside of components, the down-hole strain gauge, typically bonded into a small hole in the neutral axis of the load-sensing component, is insensitive to off-centre loading, bending and extraneous loads. Furthermore, the sealed and encapsulated miniature assembly is extremely well protected against harsh environments, and materials can be selected to comply with application fatigue ratings and international safety standards. Compensation for pressure, temperature and safety redundancy can also be built into customised designs, and the technology is very useful for applications where limited space is available.
Ixthus Instrumentation provides complete technical and sales support for the entire Strainsert range and can advise and assist customers with standard products and customised applications. Ixthus has applied and adapted these innovative products over several years in military, aerospace, marine and subsea, oil and gas, mining and quarrying, hoists and cranes, and the automotive industry. According to Ixthus Instrumentation, down-hole strain-gauging is being used by Rolls-Royce in the engines it supplies for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, in ejector seat testing, and in testing the forces between wing sections on the Airbus A380. Other applications are found in sectors as diverse as medical and sports.
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