There are many issues that may crop up during the selection of a materials testing machine, especially one that is used for multiple tests. Regardless of whether a brand new machine is being acquired or an upgrade is needed from past selections, there are several important steps to consider before purchasing a universal testing machine. Below we outline the biggest issues to tackle.

1. Determine the ASTM or ISO national standard of testing to complete. Every material that is to be sold to the public or private sectors must undergo rigorous testing according to national recommendations. The first step to take is to figure out the type of test a material should undergo (compression, torsion, tension, bend, peel, fatigue etc.)

2. Outline the calculations necessary to test the specimen and what systems have such capabilities. One of the most vital parts of choosing a universal testing machine is picking the controller to go along with it. ADMET provides a choice between the standalone eP2 Digital Controller and the PC-based MTESTQuattro software, which has an extensive library of calculations.

3. Choose the maximum load necessary for testing your material. Depending on the maximum load needed to conduct a test, the type of universal testing machine can be determined. Qualities like table-top vs. floorstanding, dual vs. single column, and electromechanical vs. hydraulic can all be understood once the maximum load is chosen. The force capacity ultimately determines the size of a system. ADMET provides several series of load cells to fit the needs of our customers.

4. Determine the maximum speed necessary to conduct the test. The speed that a materials testing system performs at can specify the motor, actuator, and drive necessary to equip the machine with. This is also an important factor to consider for static tests versus dynamic fatigue tests.

5. Pick the grips or fixtures needed to complete your test. Depending on the type of specimen being tested, the grips purchased could be beneficial or hurt overall results. For instance, rope and thread grips shouldn’t be used on medical devices or metals. Manual vise grips or pneumatic grips are helpful in testing such products.

6. Decide whether a deflectometer or extensometer can benefit your materials testing. Depending on the type of test you are conducting, extensometers can accurately determine specimen extension during testing. Deflectometers, on the other hand, can help calculate the deformations that occur during three or four point bend tests or compression tests. ADMET offers several types of deflectometers and extensometers.

7. Decide whether your testing procedure will benefit from sample preparation tools, an environmental chamber, or fluid bath. A variety of cutting dies and tools may improve testing conditions while environmental chambers or baths can provide a way to see how a material will act in situ. ADMET offers all of these solutions.

8. Consider all possible applications that your universal testing machine will need to conduct. While today you may need only tension and compression capabilities, in the future your materials testing needs may expand and you will require torsion, bend, peel, and fatigue testing. By considering all of the options that a universal testing machine may need, you will be able to reduce costs in the long run by purchasing an all-encompassing system.

9. Determine whether your older materials testing machines could be retro-fitted. Instead of purchasing a whole new system, sometimes an older machine can be affixed with new supplies and function appropriately. ADMET offers several different types of retrofits including the Basic Upgrade, the Three Channel Upgrade, and the PC/Windows Based Upgrade. Partaking in a retrofit could lead to cost savings. To learn more about the costs associated with purchasing this service or a new system, take a look at our free ROI calculator. Please contact one of our Account Directors to learn more about our retrofit packages and universal testing machines.

10. Ensure that your system and company receive the necessary support throughout the lifespan of the machine. As a machine becomes used frequently and endures stresses throughout its lifespan, it becomes inevitable that a certain level of customer support is needed. ADMET provides an exceptional level of post sales customer support including online and on-site training along with phone and email support throughout a system’s lifetime.

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