Introduction to Crankshaft Measurements

Michigan Scientific (MSC) has extensive experience offering in-vehicle custom crankshaft measurement solutions. These measurements are crucial in testing the strength and functionality of an engine’s crankshaft and verifying simulations. With comprehensive expertise in applying strain gauges to production parts, Michigan Scientific can create a custom transducer from a production crankshaft.

Getting Started

To kick off any crankshaft measurement application, Michigan Scientific engineers use customer solid models or cross sections to determine optimal strain gauge locations, based on what type of measurements are needed. These are also used to determine where and how all of the instrumentation will fit in the engine or on the dyno. Common applications include measuring torque from the crank near the main journal bearing, making bending measurements, or measuring strain in highly stressed locations, such as the fillets of the throws (pins). Typically, it is desirable to measure the output torque from the crank near the main journal bearing at the flywheel end of the crankshaft. This usually is the main measurement to which all other measurements are correlated. Making this torque measurement also allows for better study of the overall drivetrain because a direct torque measurement into the transmission is very useful.

Each application is unique since engine types vary greatly. MSC has provided crankshaft instrumentation services for applications ranging from small motorcycle engines, to large 12-liter engines. Testing can be performed with the engine in the vehicle or on a dyno, but the instrumentation configuration will vary depending on the space available.

Crankshaft-with-Amp-and-ERTTesting Set-Up

Once the ideal gauge locations are identified on the 3D models, Michigan Scientific applies the gauges to the production shaft at the MSC facility. The signal wires from the gauges are routed to a slip ring assembly or wireless telemetry system. These rotating signal transmission products are ideal for communicating the signal from the strain gauges to the data acquisition. It is common to mount a slip ring and amplifier package to the engine damper. Using a slip ring for signal transmission also allows for the angular speed and the position of the crankshaft to be measured. All of this data is crucial in engine and crankshaft studies. 

If you are interested in learning more about custom crankshaft instrumentation applications, contact a Michigan Scientific representative today.