In the past, force measurement typically meant obtaining a peak load of measurement of a product, part, and material to verify or validate that the product could exceed or withstand a specified load. Material testing, however, is considered to be the science of figuring out a product’s physical characteristics carried out by some highly skilled scientists and engineers using sophisticated software. Material testing involve a comprehensive evaluation of a material, like determining its break load, modulus of elasticity, and yielding characteristics through exacting measurements to a recognized industry standard. Testing allows for identification and immediate response to nonconforming products. More testing also means nonconforming products and their related processes can be analyzed, measured, and corrected quickly. Read on to learn how force measurement is now evolving into materials testing.
Testing on a Shop Floor
The production environment now is a situ testing laboratory, where the skilled personnel who gather and work with materials, parts, and products on an everyday basis perform quality tests in real-time. The production worker’s knowledge and experience are crucial to the ultimate product’s quest for optimal quality. The force measurement systems used with today’s standards are more capable, sophisticated, and efficient. Force testing has become an essential part of the manufacturing process. The forces required to insert or extract components, make or break electrical contacts, and prove that a component can withstand an applied load after a number of cycles are all standard measurement attributes that can attain on a production floor. These types of measurements are used to help validate a product’s ultimate performance, helping to determine the lifecycle, safety factor, and warranty period as well.
Today’s Force Testing
Modern force testing systems all incorporate the principles first developed for the programmable logic controller with various testing functions. This kind of force testing system lets the operator create multistage, albeit logic-testing steps without having to use a separate computer or proprietary third-party software package. The operator can generate testing parameters and steps based on individual testing methods or standards and procedures. Test creation is intuitive and a lot of the times driven by ASTM standards. Precise speed and motion control algorithms use sophisticated proportional integral derivative (PID) controls that form what is called a universal testing machine. Today’s systems can automatically correct for load cell and frame deflection too. They’re also able to accurately measure sample heights and/or datams and be used for complex testing in laboratories.
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