The measurement of tooling-workpiece interface forces is needed for process design, process modeling and analysis and process monitoring for control. One approach to measuring local interface loads with minimal disturbance of the surface and process is to embed sensors in the surface below the surface region of interest. Small piezoelectric sensing elements were cast into surfaces and their ability to measure loads applied normal to the surfaces was assessed. Sensor outputs were analyzed in terms of sensor depth below the surface, distance along the surface from the load location to the sensor location and sensor to sensor spacing. A mechanical model of the sensor-surface system was developed which predicted sensor output. The use of this sensing concept and type of sensor was demonstrated in strip drawing tests. Using temperature compensated sensors, workpiece holddown force was measured in tests during which drawbead penetration was varied.

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