Charles E. Larson & Sons Inc. forges steel, aluminum, copper, brass titanium, and high-temperature alloys for the aerospace and nuclear industries, and other commercial sectors. Recently, the company updated its in-house tensile testing capability.

The company has kept its technology current through careful investments. One of those investments was retrofitting a 60,000 lb Tinius Olsen test frame. The machine, which was mechanically sound, predated electronics controls.

Prior to the retrofit, the Larson lab operated like most labs did, and many still do. The technician would attach an extensometer to the specimen, run the test, and record the strain data on a pen recorder. Then, he would build a load versus strain curve, manually calculate the yields, and write the results on a sheet of paper.

“We were thinking about getting a new machine, but it was suggested that we could save a lot by getting a retrofit instead,” says Larson metallurgist Tom Raleigh.

In researching the ADMET retrofit, Raleigh discovered that by retrofitting the Tinius Olsen machine with servo control, Larson could conduct precisely controlled tensile tests, and automatically collect and calculate results in electronic format.

The upgrade went smoothly. ADMET engineers specified the required workstation, interfaces, and servo controls for the frame. Observed Raleigh, “It was a major overhaul that went as planned and has been working flawlessly ever since”.

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