Cable Tension Meters (or is it Tensiometers or Dynamometers?) for Barges, Rigs, Construction, and Pipeline Inspection.

We often get asked questions about the difference between tension meters, tensiometers, and dynamometers.

There is good reason for the confusion because many different industries use the same words for different applications. For example, the word tensiometer, which we use to describe our primary cable tension/payout monitoring equipment, is also used to describe a soil moisture monitor, and dynamometer is a word that was widely used within North America for a device for measuring automotive horsepower. At Measurement Technology NW we focus on measuring cable tension in many different applications (from 1,000 lbs-1,000,000 lbs) and we use the words tensiometer (dynamometer) and tension meter interchangeably.

Even though the words mean much the same thing, our tensiometers can be provided with an extra sensor to measure payout and speed – two line control parameters that are not always considered when referencing a standard “tension meter”. Tensiometers can be of two main styles; running line tensiometers (RLT’s) are designed to ride the line and provide measurements of tension, speed and/or payout as the line moves through the unit. Static tensiometers are devices that clamp onto non-moving lines and only need to provide a measurement of line tension.

Our customers use MTNW tension monitoring devices in applications such as: offshore mooring, barge mooring, oceanographic payload monitoring, ROV launch and recovery system monitoring, tethered pipeline inspection (or pigging) monitoring, etc. Usually it is a safety requirement that drives the procurement of these tensiometers. Here is a picture of a barge mooring monitoring project for which Ombak Marine Group in Kuala Lumpur has installed a group of MTNW’s tensiometers. These units are defined as tensiometers (or dynamometers) because we are helping them measure all three line parameters. 

Our running line tensiometers are 3 sheave devices that detect tension by the deflection of the strain gauge transducer installed in the load pin that is in the center of the top sheave. Here is another picture from an NPCC barge mooring monitoring project. NPCC, based in Dubai, ordered 8 running line tensiometers (or dynamometers) from us. You can see how we have installed this device in a compact area under a platform. It is tethered from above to avoid damage in a slack line event and tethered fore and aft to prevent rocking. Whether you call it a tensiometer, a tension meter, or a dynamometer (and hopefully we’ve cleared away some of the confusion), we build the most rugged, accurate, and easily installed cable tension monitoring device in the industry.




About Us

Rugged Controls is an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of rugged programmable controllers, sensors, instrumentation, controls and automation equipment used in industries ranging from oil & gas, industrial, oceanographic to mining to construction. Our brand of multivariable controllers is continually selected in mission-critical applications where rugged durability, viewability, accuracy and data acquisition is required.

Follow Us...

LinkedIn icon
Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Instagram icon