Why Force Measurements Matter - Force Transducer Testing and NASCAR

July 13, 2015

Why Force Measurements Matter - Force Transducer Testing and NASCAR

Why force measurements matter

Why Force Measurements Matter - Photo Courtesy of Associated Press
Austin Dillon went cascading into the catch fence at Daytona Speedway on the early morning of July 6th, 2015. Was he thinking of all the testing his NASCAR Sprint Cup car goes through? Absolutely not! He was just in survival mode.
The need for speed is critical in NASCAR. Tenths and hundreds of a second can make a difference in winning the race or finishing in the teens. There are many different types of testing and force measurements that are involved in racing. Every time a wheel is changed, the crew relies on applying nuts with the proper torque. During testing, force transducers are mounted in and around the wheels.
Why force measurement matters is these transducers measure vertical and lateral load. They also can measure the camber and slip angle on the track.
Force sensors are also critical when mounted due to the fact that the forces measured generate to the tire and wheel. The more direct contact of the tire to the track translates to greater speeds. What if the transducers are not properly calibrated? What if the reference lab cannot calibrate to the required measurement uncertainty?   Are all of the potential error sources accounted for when the testing is performed? What if the error sources could be quantified and the tests improved?    The post-race comments could be, "I just wish we could have been a little quicker in the turns than the Number 91 car", instead of "I want to thank my team and sponsors for giving me a lightning-fast car that led to victory."

Did testing or lack of have anything to do with Dillon's accident? Of course not. The accident is a by-product of increasing speeds, close-quarter racing, and top-notch engineering. How about the sensors that are involved with seat belts? Think of all the testing involved in withholding the driver in place. While the car disintegrated around him, the cockpit stayed intact. The belts did what they were designed to do. Austin stayed in the seat.

He got out of the car and waved to the fans. What about the testing involved with the fence design? The car lifted off the track and careened into the fence. The car shattered but bounced back onto the track. A few fans in the stands had minor injuries. Not enough testing and the car could have been in the stands.

Force sensors play an important part in our everyday world. Might your application be as critical as NASCAR? Perhaps not. It may not be life or death, but that doesn't mean it isn't critical. The example is one of many on why force measurements matter.

Why Force Measurements Matter - Conclusion

I take great pride in our knowledgeable team at Morehouse, who continue to work with everyone, clarify complex topics, and provide tools such as free guidance documents, excel sheets, and products to help you make better force measurements. We want to make sure everyone understands why force measurements matter.

At Morehouse, we educate our customers and provide solutions to you. Most of these solutions are available for free to help you make better measurements and can be found here.

We have been in business for over a century and focus on being the most recognized name in the force measurement business. That vision comes from educating our customers on why force measurements matter and what matters most and having the proper discussions relating to what is force, and why force is essential, so everyone understands the concepts.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our LinkedIn and YouTube channel for more helpful posts and videos.

Everything we do, we believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration. We challenge the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters, what causes significant errors, and how to focus on reducing them.

In addition, Morehouse makes simple-to-use calibration products. We build excellent force equipment that is plumb, level, square, and rigid. Morehouse provides unparalleled calibration service with less than two-week lead times.

Want to watch the video on why use Morehouse for your load cell calibration? That can be found @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgY4n4z3xGU&t=5s

Please get in touch with us @ 717-843-0081 to talk to a live person or email info@mhforce.com. Want to learn more about why force measurements matter, visit us on the web at mhforce.com.

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