Case Studies

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Case Studies 2017-05-26T16:58:41+00:00

For more than 25 years, we’ve been helping companies and institutions solve their material testing issues.  Here, you’ll find a collection of case studies that illustrate how ADMET can help your organization.

Niacc-Avitech Technologies Drives Growth with ADMET Investment

Challenge

Niacc-Avitech Technologies is an aircraft component overhaul and manufacturing facility in Fresno, CA. The company repairs and overhauls starters, generators, fuel assemblies, cable harnesses, electronics, brake and hydraulic components, and other aircraft appliances and components. The company also has a build-to-print division that supplies major customers with electrical rotors, starters, and wire harnesses. Niacc recently received a customer request to add overhaul and servicing capabilities for landing gear shock absorbers to its portfolio of services. The technical specifications meant that Niacc would need new test equipment. It was difficult for Rayan Kabeer, Niacc’s head of engineering and product development, to find a test machine that would apply the right amount of load, some 49,000 pounds. The offerings from other companies were either too big or too small. They could have custom built a machine, but the time and money associated with that were too great.

Solution

After a rigorous diagnostic assessment of Niacc’s needs, ADMET’s Account Director recommended ADMET’s ExPress/eXpert 1600 Universal Testing Machine equipped with the MTESTQuattro materials testing system. Specifically, the configuration that worked best was the ExPress 300 kN (60,000 lbf) dual-column servo-hydraulic materials testing machine equipped with the MTESTQuattro materials testing system. This is a Microsoft Windows-based software product that controls tests, collects and reports data, and offers sophisticated tabular and graphical representations of test results for analysis and comparison. The machine arrived within six weeks of the initial conversation.

Results

Mr. Kabeer is especially pleased with the MTESTQuattro materials testing system. “The best thing about ADMET is that, with their software, we can control the test pretty much hands-off,” he said. MTESTQuattro also graphically plots the test results and highlights any test parameters that are out of tolerance, making it easy to spot failures. The results are saved in a database that, by regulation, is kept for two years after the part has been shipped. Thanks to the investment in ADMET technology, Niacc was able to respond to its customer’s request for a new line of testing and is now providing the service to other customers that operate the same aircraft. Additionally, there are other similar aircraft that use the same type of shock absorber. The ExPress machine Niacc purchased from ADMET can be used to test these and other larger shock absorber assemblies, further extending the market and driving new business.

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ADMET Delivers an Innovative Solution to Leading Corporate Jet Manufacturer

Challenge

A leading U.S. based manufacturer of private and corporate jets was called upon to expand maintenance capabilities to include the testing of shock strut assemblies, shock absorbers, and actuators for aircraft landing gear. Both main and nose gear were to be accommodated by a single system. To reach the largest potential market of business aircraft owners, a flexible, high capacity testing system was needed. Also, because each aircraft maker has their own maintenance testing requirements and they all differ in significant aspects, an adaptable testing system was required. This new capability required precision transducers, complex control, and the ability to adapt for different sizes and types of test assemblies. Critical to the test program was the ability to measure the rotational steering position of the loaded landing gear.

Solution

The prospect submitted their specifications to a select set of uniquely qualified suppliers for comments. One test required applying a compressive uniaxial load, then twisting the steering knuckle and measuring torque and angle of rotation. ADMET analyzed the engineering data and responded to the opportunity with a unique solution. The solution was based on an inverted version of their rugged eXpert 1600 series servo hydraulic universal testing system and a rotating compression platen instrumented to measure angle. The jet manufacturers’ customers demanded timely service so keeping test system downtime to a minimum was important. Thus, a testing system constructed with multiple domestic part sources was also a requirement. ADMET’s eXpert 1600 series testers, made in the USA using off the shelf American made parts, satisfied this requirement. In the client’s words “Once we reviewed each of the suppliers, we decided the only choice was ADMET.” Two months later, the system was operational and training completed.

Results

The eXpert 1600 series servo hydraulic universal testing system equipped with ADMET’s MTESTQuattro Materials Testing System has performed beyond expectations and without a single instance of service. The customer found the test system incredibly easy to use, and configurable to perform a variety of tests. When the customer is called upon to create a new method of testing, MTESTQuattro allows them to implement it in minutes. Since ADMET software allows installation on multiple computers, the client designs new testing procedures at their desks and downloads them to the testing system in the hangar. This saves a considerable amount of time and reduces errors. When loading and unloading the landing gear assemblies, they use a fork lift or winch so “bumping” into the testing machine is a common occurrence. Subsequent calibration verifications, done every three months, confirm that the force, torque and alignment have exhibited no ill effects. As stated in a recent follow up call with the client: “We have performed hundreds of tests, many consisting of thousands of cycles each, and the hundreds of hours of faultless operation have served to confirm our decision to purchase from ADMET, Inc. We consider ourselves fortunate to be an ADMET customer and their application and technical support continues to be responsive, friendly and professional.”

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ADMET Transforms Automotive Supplier Dexter Axle’s Rubber Component Testing

Challenge

With its nine manufacturing centers and international distribution network, Dexter Axle is a leading supplier of running gear and components for the trailer industry. The company has invested heavily in manufacturing and testing technology, with in-house laboratories conducting rigorous metallurgical, stress, and fatigue testing. The company performs routine tests of daily in-process manufacturing friction welds on axle assemblies using a Reihle electromechanical tensile testing machine. However, Dexter Axle’s main line of heavy duty axles, Torflex, uses rubber components that are integral to the product’s performance. Management decided that the rubber cord should be tested upon receipt at the facility. As a result, James Bryan, a Dexter Axle quality technician, was asked to a conduct a modulus test on one or two rubber core samples from each case. “At the beginning I was using our manual system. It was very difficult to accurately control the different speeds. Our results were all over the map and I had no confidence in the results,” commented Bryan. He contacted ADMET to see if there was a way to improve reliability of their results.

Solution

The answer was ADMET’s MTESTQuattro test system. By adding MTESTQuattro and replacing the motor amplifier, ADMET was able to upgrade the Reihle frame to handle the necessary modulus tests. Now, using MTESTQuattro both to control the testing process and record the results for the bend and modulus tests, Bryan and quality control inspectors were able to conduct up to 100 tests per week.

Results

This improved confidence in their results has had a positive impact on Dexter’s business. “Now we get results that we can rely on and we can easily transfer them to our Statistical Quality Control system or to a spreadsheet,” said Mr. Bryan. The system came with some unanticipated side benefits. It frees up Bryan’s time allowing him to easily train QC technicians to oversee the modulus testing. In addition, MTESTQuattro manages the entire testing cycle. Explained Mr. Bryan, “Previously, I was completely tied to the machine during the test. Now, I can log information from earlier tests or do something else. It even shuts itself down at the end of the cycle.”

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ADMET Equipment Allows Nerites Corporation to Test the Mechanical Properties of Synthetic Molecules

Challenge

Nerites Corporation was founded in 2004 to develop novel adhesives and coatings for a wide range of medical, industrial, and consumer applications. Its innovative approach creates synthetic adhesives and coatings that mimic the adhesive proteins of the common blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). The majority of Nerites’ work focuses on structural adhesives and coatings for biomedical applications. Nerites’ researches believe they can overcome the biomedical concerns associated with animal-derived and human-derived tissue adhesives and sealants by utilizing synthetic molecules. While these molecules answer concerns related to toxicology and viral transmission, they must still be tested for their strength and durability and all relevant mechanical properties. One of Nerites’ senior scientists, Jeffrey Dalsin, Ph.D., contacted ADMET seeking a solution.

Solution

Dr. Dalsin knew that Nerites needed a small, horizontally-configured tabletop machine that could test materials in a temperature controlled saline bath. ADMET’s Account Director and engineers recommended their eXpert 5602 table top testing machine equipped with an eP2 Digital Controller. After examining other options, Dr. Dalsin decided that ADMET was the best choice. The delivery took about six weeks and the setup was virtually automatic.

Results

From the beginning, ADMET worked with Dr. Dalsin to arrive at a solution tailored to his needs. He says, “I contacted ADMET and explained our needs and the force ranges in which we would be working and the fact that we wanted to have a certain amount of computerized control. I also explained that we wanted to test underwater. ADMET came through with a really good design and a very competitive price.” The in-house ADMET machine makes it easier to test different formulations quickly. Dr. Dalsin explains, “The pressure generated in the brain and spinal cord is much different than the pressure generated in, say, a blood vessel, especially the arterial system. So, we’re developing different formulations for applications where different forces are involved.” Dr. Dalsin also has plans for further testing with the ADMET machine in the future. Having studied peak stresses, he is now interested in researching stress/strain relationships.

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ADMET Testing Machine Satisfies Compression Bend Test Needs of Endoscope Tubing Provider Karl Storz

Challenge

Karl Storz is an international company known for its production of medical instruments and devices. Its product range varies from neuro-endoscopy and cardiovascular surgery to veterinary medicine, gynecology and spine surgery. In particular, Karl Storz has developed meter-long endoscope tubing, which are instruments useful for studying the inside of the human body. With this technology, surgeons can more clearly see into the organs they are performing surgery on and therefore obtain better results. In order to develop such products for the medical sector, it is a necessity to ensure the strength, safety, quality, and structural properties of endoscope tubing. The ultimate challenge that Karl Storz encountered is the ability to track endoscope flexibility and have better control of their analysis. The company was looking for an easy to use machine capable of measuring deflection rates and conducting compression bend testing on their meter-long endoscope tubing.

Solution

Karl Storz considered building their own compression bend testing machine. However, the cost and time benefits provided at ADMET were viewed as a worthier solution. It would be a longer process to develop a machine on-site and complete, standardized systems from ADMET provided a better opportunity. The eXpert 5601 1kN single column universal testing machine equipped with the eP2 Digital Controller and GaugeSafe Live Data Exchange Program was purchased along with a custom bend fixture. ADMET also provided the company with on-site installation and training. After receiving the machine, no major issues were encountered and on-site training was helpful for learning quickly how to use the system.

Results

After acquiring and using the eXpert 5601 1kN testing machine, a visible improvement in Karl Storz’s materials testing occurred. The company was able to gain more control and information over the quality of their product. This improved their line and ability to assess structural and mechanical properties of their endoscopes. Ultimately, it results in fewer defects for their customers down the line. Joseph Labenski, a manufacturing engineer for Karl Storz Endovision, stated that his team was “very happy with the system. The ADMET eXpert 5601 testing machine is a great product from a self-established company. The testing system performed as expected and met all of our expectations. It was delivered on time and did not require months of training.”

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ADMET Helps FTL Shorten Test Times & Improve Accuracy

Challenge

Flood Testing Labs, Inc. (FTL) is one of North America’s preeminent concrete, asphalt, soils, steel, and weld test laboratories. Based in Chicago, FTL services building and roadway construction with both onsite technical services and certified laboratory testing to provide technical certifications for materials. Its largest service is concrete cylinder compression testing. For this, FTL depends on two testing machines. One of these, a Tinius Olsen 400,000 lb. Universal Testing Machine, was beginning to show the wear and tear associated with long term use in a corrosive atmosphere. The wiring and electrical components were becoming troublesome to maintain. Walt Flood, engineer-in-charge at FTL, knew it was time for an upgrade. He turned to his calibrator, Cal-Rite Corporation, who suggested he consider ADMET.

Solution

Mr. Flood and Cal-Rite wanted a solution that would improve efficiency and test accuracy. They decided to install one of ADMET’s digital machine controllers in their Tinius Olsen frame, and moved an ADMET DL 16 Load and Stress indicator from that machine to another. The end result was a double refit. ADMET and Cal-Rite worked closely together to ensure the best possible outcome for FTL. Cal-Rite handled the installation and training while ADMET provided backup technical support. The entire installation, including replacing the necessary equipment, required less than a day.

Results

The results have been very positive for FTL. The electronics in their testing machines are new and reliable. Test times have been reduced from 45 minutes to 13 minutes. All of the Young’s Modulus calculations are completed during the test. ADMET’s digital controller allows FTL to capture data, import into a spreadsheet, and create backups. Mr. Flood notes that the retrofitted machine was recognized by one of his technicians as the most accurate machine he’d ever seen. Mr. Flood concludes, “I’m very pleased with the whole ADMET/Cal-Rite setup.”

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UMass Medical School Deploys ADMET Technology in Leading Edge Musculoskeletal Research

Challenge

The University of Massachusetts Medical School has been recognized by national and international medical communities as an outstanding institution for research. Within the university, the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation and the Department of Rheumatology form the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence. This center researches the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. One of the center’s research projects, led by Dr. John Wixted, studies fracture biology to validate a device that measures fracture healing properties of various orthopedic implants. Dr. Wixted needed a testing machine capable of determining the load sharing between bones and implants during both tension and compression.

Solution

Dr. Wixted chose an ADMET eXpert 2611 Universal Testing Machine to meet the study’s challenges. His team attached special sensors to bone implants used in hip repair and placed them in plastic bone substitutes to determine how much force is applied to both the bone and the implant. ADMET’s MTESTQuattro control system allowed the researchers to capture the test data and easily export it to a spreadsheet for further analysis.

Results

Dr. Wixted is delighted with the ADMET relationship. He explains, “I’ve been very happy with ADMET from a cost basis, ease-of-use, and ongoing support. It does what we need it to do.” As his research program is nearing completion, Dr. Wixted is already using the flexible eXpert 2611 system for other biomechanical applications. Starting on a new application can be daunting, but ADMET’s support ensures that customers are able to utilize all aspects of their system. Dr. Wixted was particularly pleased with his interactions with ADMET’s support staff: “They’ve also been very good with the customer service end of things. Whenever I call with a question, they’re very good about getting right back to me with an answer.” With its flexible capabilities and ease of use, ADMET’s eXpert 2611 Universal Testing Machine will continue to contribute to UMass Medical School’s reputation for research excellence well into the future.

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Leading Printed Circuit Board Manufacturer Turns to ADMET for Innovative Testing System

Challenge

ADMET was contacted by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flexible printed circuit boards to help with a new testing application. These boards are used to connect electrical components in various electronics such as mobile phones, laptop computers, and medical devices. The flexibility and thinness of these circuit boards have enabled cell phone manufacturers to design ever more compact and powerful mobile phones. Mobile phones, especially those that are of the flip variety, pose a challenge in the design of flexible circuit boards that can be repeatedly bent and maneuvered into narrow spaces yet remain very durable. New materials and laminates had to be developed that could pass stringent durability testing. At the same time, new testing equipment was needed to validate all of the new designs.

Solution

The first step was to determine an appropriate test method. It was determined that the circuit boards needed to be fatigue tested in both the tensile and flexural directions. Designs of new products change so quickly that a very fast method of testing materials was needed. One test that was deemed appropriate was to stretch the materials going into the circuit board to 100% of starting length 30 times per minute. A normal universal testing machine can be configured to reach those speeds but it is not realistic for a system that needs to test into the millions of cycles. Therefore, ADMET recommended a low force, voice coil actuated fatigue system from the ADMET eXpert 1900 series controlled with MTESTQuattro testing and fatigue software. The recommended system had 100mm of crosshead displacement, maximum cycling speeds in excess of the requirement, and control software that could fatigue the sample with a sawtooth or sinusoidal wave profile.

Results

The materials going into the circuit board were not allowed to fail or allow the force at maximum strain to drop below an acceptable force threshold within 200,000 cycles. Using ADMET’s MTESTQuattro software, ADMET engineers programmed and saved a test method with a sinusoidal wave profile that cycled the sample to 100% strain 30 cycles per minute. The system was set to record every 1000 cycles and stopped automatically when the sample failed. At this point the number of cycles completed successfully was noted. The customer can look at the force vs. time graph to determine peak forces across all cycles to make sure none of them dropped below a minimum force reading. The system has already helped in the material selection process. It will continue to serve the quality control department as well as be used for further R&D purposes.

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Alaska Department of Fish & Game Solves Crab Policy Issue by Deploying ADMET

Challenge

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) has many responsibilities related to protecting and preserving the state’s wildlife. This includes crab fisheries in Alaskan waters. One consequence of the crab pot fishing gear used by the industry is a phenomenon called “ghost fishing” which happens when functional pots are lost but continue to trap and kill crabs and other organisms. In response, regulations were enacted that require one sidewall of all crab pots have an opening that is secured with biodegradable 100% cotton twine that will break down after time, allowing organisms to escape. Some in the industry questioned the appropriateness of the twine specification, claiming that the twine failed on active traps before the pots could be retrieved. The ADF&G sought to test the timeto-failure by assessing the elasticity and tensile strength of the twine. David Barnard, Biometrician of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Observer program, needed a machine to test twines of different strength to ensure the regulations were correct.

Solution

Before conducting testing, ADF&G depended on observational data regarding the strength and durability of the twine. The department wanted to back this observational data up with empirical evidence. Initially, the ADF&G staff considered field-testing twine using actual crab pots in the field, but it would have required a large vessel and been labor intensive and expensive. Ultimately, it was decided to use a controlled study to eliminate as many variables as possible. Mr. Barnard contacted ADMET and found that the competitively priced eXpert 5601 Universal Testing Machine would have necessary capabilities to conduct his study. Additionally, Mr. Barnard was pleased with the size of the ADMET machine having found competitors’ machines to be too large.

Results

Upon receipt of the machine, Mr. Barnard was able to set it up himself with no difficulties. The ADMET machine gave him the capability to conduct the necessary elasticity and tension studies. The study examined 30-thread and 60-thread twine samples that have been soaked in a laboratory tank and another set of twine samples soaked at the bottom of a harbor. Mr. Barnard runs 20 replicates of each size. Thanks to this study, ADF&G was able to provide the Board of Fisheries information on the physical properties of the twine so the Board can make an informed decision regarding regulatory change requests on the matter.

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BarronCast Invests in ADMET Technology to Solve Tensile Test Equipment Needs

Challenge

BarronCast Inc. (BCI), headquartered in Oxford, Michigan, is a manufacturer of engineered metal products. The company has been owned by the Barron family since 1923. BCI supplies cast, machined, assembled, and painted components to the defense, automotive, glass, material handling, medical, printing press, combustion turbine, pump, valve, and other commercial markets. Until recently, BCI had most of its materials and product testing outsourced to local testing labs. The company wanted to bring its material testing in-house to improve quality control and reduce testing time. Greg Barron, Manager of Engineering and Quality Assurance, turned to ADMET for its tensile testing equipment needs.

Solution

Initially, Mr. Barron had the intention of purchasing a used, retrofitted Universal Testing Machine to meet BCI’s needs. After doing some research, Mr. Barron noticed that ADMET controllers and indicators were often used in retrofits of other companies’ machines. Digging deeper, Mr. Barron discovered that a brand new ADMET machine was competitively priced with the competitors’ retrofitted machines. After diagnosing BCI’s testing needs, ADMET’s Account Director recommended an Express servo-hydraulic, dual-column test frame equipped with the MTESTQuattro materials testing system. This machine would be utilized in both R&D and production testing.

Results

Upon delivery of BCI’s machine, an ADMET engineer visited the site and helped with the initial setup. Mr. Barron was struck by the number of options the MTESTQuattro system offered. One key benefit of ADMET’s system was its ability to capture testing data and produce sophisticated reports. In the case of BCI, tests results are printed and filed as a backup for the certification that is sent to customers. A separate report is generated for customers that require raw data. Now that BCI conducts its own testing, the company has plans to consolidate the data from multiple tests into spreadsheets in order to do statistical analyses of tensile strength results on alloys over time. Mr. Barron is pleased with the eXpress’ flexibility. Since the machine uses standard fixture pin mounts, virtually any fixture can be mounted. “We see a lot of possibilities,” says Mr. Barron. BCI has already run some push-out tests on pressed fittings and brushings that are installed in castings. Other useful applications are planned for the future.

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Triosyn Reaches Out to ADMET to Solve Polymer Tension Issues

Challenge

Triosyn, a subsidiary of Safe Life Corporation, manufactures products using its Triosyn resin, a unique iodine preparation with significant antimicrobial properties. The resin is applied to a polymer substrate that is used in disposable respirators and other personal protection devices. The manufacturing process typically involved three layers of substrate. Triosyn engineers were finding that the differences in tensile strengths between substrate layers caused puckers to form between the materials. It was decided that testing of the polymers would need to be done prior to manufacture so that the rollers in the product could be tensioned correctly. Scott Teuscher, an engineer at Triosyn, began researching options to solve this dilemma. He knew he needed a machine capable of conducting tension tests and recording data. His investigation led him to contact ADMET.

Solution

After a detailed diagnosis by an ADMET Account Director it became clear that Triosyn’s issues would be best addressed by the eXpert 5601 Universal Testing Machine. This flexible and affordable machine provided all the necessary tension testing capabilities and was combined with ADMET’s eP2 Digital Controller and data management program to allow for digital data capture. The entire package, including specialized grips, was delivered in just a few weeks. Mr. Teuscher and his colleagues were able to begin testing immediately.

Results

Now, Triosyn engineers test all of the polymer roll samples when they are received so that the roller tension can be adjusted properly. Mr. Teuscher is pleased with the results, stating that the eXpert series machine was easy to work with. When he needed help with the ADMET’s data program, he contacted ADMET support who promptly assisted him and resolved his issue. Says Mr. Teuscher, “ADMET was very helpful.” The eXpert 5601’s flexibility was another big draw for Mr. Teuscher. “The beauty of it is that you can turn it into a horizontal test based on the way the machine works,” he says. “It really is a unique design for tensile testing machines because the actuator is one separate unit.” Although he was unfamiliar with ADMET at first, ultimately he was glad he found them. The team at ADMET was quick, the solution was cost effective, and the machine perfectly fit his requirements.

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ADMET Software Improves GTI’s Testing Efficiency

Challenge

Based in Des Plaines, IL, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is a leading research, development and training organization serving energy markets by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government. In addition to its research and development work, GTI offers a one-source stop for testing, engineering, and remediation services. Brian Spiller, lab manager for GTI, was tasked with conducting a range of tests and gathering and reporting the results. The lab used a fifteen year-old, 60,000 lb. Tinius Olsen tensile testing frame. While the mechanics of the frame were working well, the non-computerized system that had been retrofitted to the machine to control the tests and report results was unnecessarily complicated to the point of being impractical. GTI turned to ADMET to bring their machine up to speed.

Solution

GTI chose ADMET’s MTESTQuattro materials testing system to solve their challenges. This solution was recommended to GTI by their testing machine calibration source, Cal-Rite Corporation. The MTESTQuattro system was determined to be cost-effective and efficient to use. Unlike other test systems, MTESTQuattro came with all of the core tests included. An ADMET engineer came to GTI’s facility to demonstrate MTESTQuattro capabilities, install the system, and train GTI’s technicians.

Results

Mr. Spiller is very happy with ADMET’s MTESTQuattro testing system. “We don’t make decisions just on cost but on value. ADMET won on both counts,” said Mr. Spiller. “ADMET walked us through everything. They helped us set up some of our own tests so when they left, we already had many of our tests programmed in for us. That saved us a lot of time and was a great value-added service.” The new system has allowed GTI to improve their overall efficiency. Technicians were able to come up to speed on the new system faster than on the old Tinius Olsen system. The ADMET platform allowed GTI technicians to set up more complex tests and increased the lab’s throughput on routine tests, allowing them to test more pieces in a shorter length of time. As an added benefit, MTESTQuattro also helped GTI receive accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation.

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