When a customer comes to ADMET and asks for something a little out of the ordinary, we say, “Let’s have a look!” We love solving new challenges. Working closely with our customers to design and specify a custom testing machine creates a lot of excitement among our staff, from sales, to engineering, and through to production. So when a prominent plastic pipe manufacturer was looking for a machine to perform tensile testing on full scale pipe sections and fused pipes, we jumped at the chance to help them.
The Why: If you’re in the plastics industry, you’re probably no stranger to tests like ASTM D638, ASTM D695, or ASTM D790 to help you identify mechanical properties of your plastic materials. But what happens when that is not enough? Those mechanical tests allow you to identify tensile strengths, compressive strengths, and flexural strengths of your material compound, but that doesn’t always provide the full picture of how your final product will perform in the field. For plastic pipe manufacturers, understanding how final products and assemblies will react in field conditions is paramount. Installing a pipeline that is miles long may require fusing hundreds or even thousands of pipe sections together, and one bad connection may be all it takes to lead to a disaster. Testing the longitudinal strength of full plastic pipe sections and their fused connections allows a manufacturer to better control their extrusion and fusing processes. This can keep a minor production or processing issue from turning into a disaster out in the field.
The What: ADMET worked closely with our customer to build a large scale horizontal pipe tensile tester that could accommodate all pipe specimens and testing requirements. The result was a 26 ft long custom built servo-hydraulic testing machine that is able to test pipes from 8 inches to 28 inches in diameter and from 5 ft to 10 ft in length, with a maximum possible elongation of 5 ft before failure. The capacity of the system is 200,000 lbs and it operates at up to 2 in/min under load with a jog speed of over 7 in/min. Our MTESTQuattro controller and software package was delivered with the test system to allow the user to generate an unlimited number of test procedures, easily save and catalog test data and graphs, and recall specific tests down the road for comparison to help improve R&D and process control efforts.
The Result: The user now has a precise and repeatable method to test fused pipe sections and ensure they are even stronger than the extruded pipe sections themselves!