A dynamometer is a load-indicating device used to measure force, torque, and power. The tool is often used to test the power of a car engine. Such tests allow engineers to maximize efficiency by measuring the power transfer on different points of the vehicle. In the construction industry, dynamometers are particularly useful in measuring the tension of an object. For example, workers can mount cables for bridges and modify the tension on wires with the use of tension dynamometers.
Different Types of Dynamometers
A versatile measurement tool, dynamometers can be applied toward several functions. The many types of dynamometers include:
Monitoring Dynamometers – determine the power needed to operate a machine
Tension Dynamometers – measure the level of force an object can handle before collapsing
Absorption Dynamometers – measure the operating torque of an engine by absorbing the energy it supplies
Universal Dynamometers – perform the dual functions of the monitoring and absorption dynamometers
Dynamometers in the Rigging and Lifting Industry
Dynamometers are used for a host of reasons in the rigging and lifting industry; however, four applications are particularly helpful to a rigger or crane operator.
1. During a chain lift load-drifting exercise, a dynamometer reads the tension to help prevent equipment overload. The rigger determines the worst-case drifting situation but uses the dynamometer to ensure that they stay in the intended parameters.
2. When using a crane, riggers have to stand a load up from a horizontal position. When using a dynamometer from the crane’s hook, the actual tension will normally reduce as the line man lifts to adapt the cargo tilt up. By observing the tension as it declines, his crew can align a “step block” on time.
3. During disassembly and demolition work, a dynamometer is also necessary. If a rigging crew knows the weight of a motor and gearbox on a bolted and grounded base, the dynamometer can be put amidst the crane hook and the cargo rigging to facilitate the aversion of strain to the apparatus. The dynamometer provides the rigging crew with live tension readings. If the rate of tension surpasses the recognized weight, the team will need to find ways to detach the base from its mounting location.
4. When training crane operators to be smooth and gentle, a crane-hook suspended dynamometer is beneficial. The peak-hold function on a dynamometer signals the operator to lift the load, move it horizontally, or lower it. This peak hold function also maintains the highest captured reading on the dynamometer since it was cleared last. It also helps the trainer show the operator trainee on how to manage speed, acceleration, and deceleration.
Benefits of Using Dynamometers on a Job Site
A dynamometer provides a surplus of benefits to lifting and rigging job sites because it:
- Does not require special calibration
- Costs less than a tension meter
- Ensures safety on the job site
- Reduces damage on objects
- Increases efficiency of the work done on the site by providing accurate and reliable measurements