Does anyone have suggestions for measuring hammering forces in the field?
I am looking for a way to quantify how hard a hammer is swung with standard data collection equipment. I have tried swinging the hammer at a scale for the impact force, but the force is too high and too quick for the scale to capture it. I am trying to differentiate between different types of hammering tasks and need something beyond simulated grip force.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi Rachel you might want to check out http://www.pcb.com/TestMeasurement/ImpactHammers#.UlOJnxCwXXs
They offer ways of measuring vibration and impact
All the best
Are you looking at MSDs associated with hammering? If so, it wouldn't so much be the impact force you would need to look at. It would be the force applied by the hand to get the hammer moving, and then the force or impact transmitted to the hand by the hammer handle as a result of the impact. The latter would probably also have a component resulting from the person still applying force to the hammer handle.
The first force could be estimated fairly well, I think, by observing the hammer swing, and timing it and measuring its arc length. Some physics would then tell you the forces involved.
The second would be more problematic, and would probably require direct measurement with force gauges between the hand and the handle, and between the fingers and the handle – especially the last two fingers. Of course if you had that, you could use the same gauges to measure the first force, as well.
Geoff, thank you for the suggestions. I am indeed looking for the first force – the force applied to the hammer.
Any chance you can provided a little more help with the physics of calculating the force from the time and length of the arc? It has been a long time since my last physics calculation!
Ok. To be more precise, though, what you will have is a 'moment' or 'torque', rather than a 'force'. What sort of measure will you want to compare it with? Do you have any guide as to what is an acceptable wrist or hand moment? If not, it might be possible to convert the moment to a 'force couple' which might then be comparable to something you have.
By the way, are you sure you want the first force only? In normal hammering, it would usually be jarring from the impact that would normally create the greatest risk of injury, I think. That would be less true though if the hammering was in a direction other than downwards.
The purpose of the measurement is for future pre-employment testing rather than for risk assessment. I need to find a way to quantify the force of the swing in the field so that when the company decides to move forward with pre-employment testing, we have a way to test/measure that the workers can reproduce the necessary force for the actual work task. I am not involved in the pre-employment testing, but am responsible for ensure that they are testing actual job demands.
OK, in that case you do want to measure how hard a person can hit with a hammer. The earlier suggestion of RobertValdes (above or below?) would probably take you to the best instrument for that. However, there are other considerations – accuracy, for one. It sounds like this is not for hammering a nail. Is it for sledge hammering? If so, there might be endurance questions, as well (I'm starting to think of those ring-the-bell-by-hitting-the lever-with-a-sledge-hammer games at side shows). Is the hammering always to be downwards? If not, that could also add a level of complexity.
Would it be possible to conduct actual field tests? That would give the best indication.
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