What is a Load Pin, And How Does It Work?


Load pins are elements used in making a connection between machine elements used for force- transmission. Load pins while making the connection also measure the force acting on the sensor. They are generally fixed against the rotation of the machine elements and in the animal direction. Load and force are the main components to be measured using the load pins. They come in various forms, sizes to fit into different machine elements from agricultural to industrial sectors. We will get to know about the working of load pins in the following paragraphs.

 What are load pins? 

Load pins are instruments used in machinery to measure the load and force on the machine at that point. They can replace clevis, Solid shafts, or pivot pins in these types of machinery. The load pins that have sensors built-in hold the capacity to measure dynamic and static forces. As they have multiple uses with a compact size against the existing complex design, they can be used in place of the non-measuring retaining pins. 

Where are the load pins used? 

They have a unique design and compact design, making it easy to use them in various pieces of machinery such as cranes, tractors, winches, fishing, offshore, process industries, mining, elevators, cable laying machines, and many more. As the major function is to measure load and force, it proves advantageous in process control, overload protection, and other safety aspects are handled. 

They are built in a way to be used even in harsh environments with easy installation. Their use in marine and offshore equipment is an example of how fierce they are and talks a lot about their durability. Load pins are resistant to vibrations and shock with long-term stability, making them suitable for event and stage technology. 

How does a load pin work? 

The load pin design is made to allow the load pin to integrate with the system of the machine or equipment it is used in and provide information about the applied forces. For example- they are used in the dead-end anchor point and head of the hydraulic cylinder.

The design has reduced diameter in the load pin on the points where there is a separation between the holding flanges with the tool in the center applying the main force. The reduced diameter creates a deformed area where the strain gauge is placed; this helps ensure that strain concentration is sufficient for accurate results. 

They are available in 3 designs- Force, House, and Lift, which have strain values mentioned on the, for the ease of use to the technician. The designs guarantee the resistance of load pins to mounting and fatigue. The working of load pins is simple; however, the results depend on various factors.

It is designed to operate in one-directional force, but when the force is applied against the operation direction, the output signal is hampered and significantly reduced. Similarly, the working has to be taken care of while using wire-rope wrapping around the sheave; if the wrapping is at 90o, the load pin is oriented at 45o for both write-rope falls. These are also available in double direction orientation, specifically for areas where the direction is constantly changing. 

The dimensions and diameter range is extremely wide, from 7mm to 480mm diameter load pins. They have a normal capacity between .2t to 3000t and can easily be produced more than customer requests. 

The strain garages are closed in small holes while being positioned at two places. All the four gages are connected electrically to form a bridge, allowing the result to be a compilation of all the force and laid transmitted by a shear pin. 

Their durability is never a question as they are built for extreme temperatures and heavy working conditions. They are so durable and have such ease to work with that they are preferred not only in simple force measurement but also considered and used in the MERM project by NASA in their submersible vehicles put deep in the ocean surface.  

Final Words

Load pins are extremely useful in many areas. They can be helpful in structural tests, flight simulators, mooring lines, railroad connections; aircraft wing joints, conveyors, test machines, Nuclear fuel rods, etc. It is necessary to have a knowledgeable staff with technical skills to operate the load pins. Though they are not complex in design, their use has to be done under the supervision of a skilled technician to ensure credible results. 

They are easily available in the market and customized depending on their request to suit their needs. If you are a load pin operator or seller, understand that you have to have great customer care service with proper product testing done beforehand. The product quality will determine the length of your business and earn you customer trust.