Latest Developments in Testing Systems for Polymeric Applications

Press Release from ZwickRoell

Materials testing is a critical issue for plastics compound and masterbatch producers who must fulfill customer requirements and demonstrate that their products satisfy prescriptive specifications. As customer specifications continue to evolve and expectations for quality continue to increase, testing laboratories are striving to deliver higher levels of accuracy and reproducibility. The powerful combination of Zwick’s testControl II electronics and industry-leading testXpert II measurement and control software provide exceptional assistance in meeting these goals.

Compounders’ laboratories are frequently called on to test a wide variety of materials and Zwick can assist in helping materials testing laboratories keep up with new materials and changing application requirements. The expanding application areas for thermoplastics now results in new performance requirements. For example, compounders may need to run tests under non-ambient conditions to demonstrate performance across a range of temperatures.

Universal Testing Machines
Zwick’s zwickiLine, Proline and AllroundLine electro-mechanical testing machines can be used for a wide range of tests including tensile, compressive, bend, peel, tear, shear and cyclic testing procedures. The load frame capacities range from 0.5 kN to 2000 kN – offering tremendous breadth in capability.  An important consideration in the procurement process is adequate determination of the force capacity required to accommodate both current and future testing requirements.  Materials are growing stronger and serious consideration regarding this aspect of the equipment specification must be covered.  An advantage of Zwick systems that may be applied to lower test forces is the possibility to utilize lower capacity load cells in conjunction with the test machine’s primary load cell.  The latest generation of universal testing systems from Zwick have each been engineered to deliver exceptional load frame stiffness, further enhancing accuracy in measurement.  A novel AC drive mechanism on the latest ProLine systems, coupled with a digital connection between the electronics and the motor, offers superior fluidity in motion due to an extremely stable signal.  The design of the drive also eliminates the need for maintenance associated with other drives, lowering the total cost of ownership.  
The use of an appropriate extensometer is crucial for the determination of material properties such as modulus, yield stress and percentage elongation at the point of specimen failure. Zwick offers a wide range of extensometry which includes ‘clip-on’ types for simple applications, semi- and fully-automated mechanical devices and non-contacting instruments such as video and laser, which are capable of remaining focused on the specimen through failure.  A new optical extensometer, the lightXtens, is available for configuration with some of the latest generation ProLine systems.  The new lightXtens provides outstanding support for applications involving long elongations of up to 1,000 mm.  Characterization of polymer films and sheeting represent examples that would benefit from a non-contact extensometry, as a contact-based extensometer could damage the specimen during the course of testing. 

Visit the static materials testing machines area of our website for more information on universal testing systems.

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