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Custom Transducers and Instrumented Bolts


When you need to obtain loads information such as the tension in a fastener, the forces on a suspension link, or the bending moment on a machine component, Midwest Dynamics can help you.  We have many years of experience designing and building specialized multi-direction transducers to measure the loads information that you need.  When it is important not to disturb the mass and stiffness of your system, we can apply strain gages to existing components and calibrate for desired forces and moments.  With Midwest Dynamics, those hard to obtain loads, which are often critical to your product development process, are within reach.


Custom Transducers

Our custom transducers fall into two categories: specialty design and instrumented components.  In the first case, we can design and build a variety of specialized force and moment transducers for your specific applications.  Multi-direction force and moment measurements are possible. When your machine's design does not lend itself to a custom transducer installation, or the system dynamics are critical, we can often obtain the loads you need by strain gaging and calibrating actual components.  Either way, we'll help you get the loads you need.





Examples of Specialty Design Transducers

  • load links

  • load pins

  • load cells

  • pedal force transducers

  • pulleys

  • bearing housings

  • steering wheels

  • torque transducers

  • wheel force transducers


Examples of Instrumented Components

  • linkages, cranks, and actuators

  • vehicle suspension components

  • braking components

  • shafts and power transmission

  • structural members

  • latches and closures

  • tool holders


Instrumented Bolts

Properly designed bolted joints are critical for your machines but obtaining accurate bolt loads to validate or troubleshoot your bolted joint designs can be difficult.  Instrumented bolts or load washers are commercially available, but often do not replicate the fastener stiffness and friction characteristics that are so important.  Using the original fastener/washer/nut system will lead to the most accurate measurement. 


Midwest Dynamics utilizes a method where sensors are installed inside a 2mm diameter hole drilled down the center of the fastener. Fastener strength and stiffness are minimally affected when compared to other instrumentation methods that require larger bore holes or reduction of outside diameters. 


The result is a very accurate axial force transducer made from the original fastener.  The load measurements are virtually unaffected by tightening torque or bending due to misalignment.  Bolt head and washer friction characteristics are completely preserved!  You would be hard pressed to obtain better bolt installation and dynamic operating loads from other transducers.


Custom Load Cell

Strain gages installed inside of bolts.

Various cable and connector options are available.

Bolt Calibration

Generator Shaft Torque Measurement 

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