How does the BoltSafe technology work?

BoltSafe bolt load cells measure the bolt load during assembly and over time. This means that the actual bolt load can now be determined very precisely, rather than assumed or guessed. This leads to enhanced safety in the bolted construction. In contrast to most load cells in the market, the BoltSafe technology does not work with strain gauges. It measures the changing of the magnetic field instead, using magnetoelastic technology. The BoltSafe bolt load sensor is applied on the non-driven side of a bolted connection, preferably under a nut. While tightening the bolt, force is being applied to the load washer, which will result in minor deformation of the stainless steel washer. The sensor constantly measures changes in electrical resistance caused by these deformations. This data is used to determine the (residual) bolt load at any given moment. The load cells can monitor the bolt load periodically or continuously, depending on the chosen sensor (PMS or CMS). Another application of the load sensors is in temporary construction. In this case the sensors are used as washers to check the load in the construction to make sure that the temporary construction does not collapse.

Step 1

Place the BoltSafe sensor on the non-driven side of a bolted connection, preferrably under a nut.

Step 2

Force is applied to the load cell while tightening the bolt, which deforms the stainless steel washer.

Step 3

The change in electrical resistance is used to determine the bolt load using magnetoelastic technology.

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What are the benefits of the BoltSafe technology?

Magnetoelastic technology is used instead of strain gauges, piezoelectric technology or a similar method. This causes BoltSafe load sensors to be more compact (low clearance) and less expensive. Another benefit of BoltSafe is that it measures the bolt load across the entire surface of the ring instead of using just a few pressure points. Calibration is done in the load cell, which means that there is no calibration needed at the side of the readout equipment. When you want to switch between different readout methods with the same bolt load sensor, no recalibration is needed. This is a feature that is rarely seen in other technologies! The BoltSafe load cells send out only digital signals. They can withstand very low and very high loads from 18 kN to 3000 kN. Another benefit is that the BoltSafe load sensors have almost no creep effect, which makes them drift free. When the washers are used in the field at any given possible circumstance, there is a maximum deviation of 5% of the full scale. Since the sensors meet the IP66 rating, they are dust free and water resistant.

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