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Bearing Load Measurement using Load Cells | How it Works | FUTEK

Application Summary

Rolling element bearing's main purpose is to constrain a rotary system while reducing the impact of friction on rotation. They are crucial parts of rotating machines such as motors and turbines, and bearing failure is a major source of costly interruptions. Bearing malfunctions can be disastrous and result in major downtime and maintenance costs, especially for applications where access to repair is limited. Bearing load measurement is imperative in preventing failures because it provides data on what reaction loads to external forces a bearing system is experiencing.

Measuring the reaction bearing forces caused by external loads in a machine gives a precise indication of how much the bearing is loaded axially and/or radially. External forces exerted on the bearings can be measured using load cells and torque and thrust sensors, and helps engineers better design and spec bearings or even make design changes to the equipment to avoid bearing overloading and early failures. 

Another benefit of measuring load is the ability to perform real-time monitoring. Continuous logging of bearing thrust load (aka axial load) and radial load allows engineers to detect and trigger allarms for overloading, as well as actuating interlock loops to ensure the safety of the machine and the entire operation.

This application illustrates how to measure and monitor axial and radial loads applied to a rolling element bearing using the strain gauge load cells and thrust load sensors.
Products in Use

Two LLB450 load button load cells paired with FUTEK’s IAA analog amplifiers or USB digital signal conditioner.

Bearing thrust Load Measurement friction
How it Works
  1. FUTEK's LLB450 Load Button Load Cells are installed between load fixtures and hydraulic jacks to measure in line axial and radial loads.

  2. As the the bearing rotates, external loads are applied radially and axially to the rolling element bearing.

  3. The load cells captures real time axial and radial forces and stream to the amplifiers for signal conditioning.

  4. The USB digital signal conditioner then communicates with a PC or desktop software for real time data visualization, logging and analysis.

  5. An external DAQ can also be utilized to collect and store bearing operational data.

All FUTEK application illustrations are strictly conceptual. Please Contact Us with questions.
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