Instron Testing Machines

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Overview

Instron testing machines are available in various forms that provide a multitude of systems for experimentally characterizing the behavior of materials. For complete details regarding the machines offered by Instron, please visit their website. A brief description of their machinery is given below [1]:

  • Electromechanical - Electromechanical testing systems are most commonly used for static testing in a tensile or compression mode within a single frame. Capacities for these systems range from low-load forces of 0.5 kN (112 lbf) up to high-capacity 600 kN (135,000 lbf) test frames.


  • Static Hydraulic Industrial Series - The Industrial Series is comprised of high-capacity, hydraulic testing systems for tension and compression applications, ranging from 150 kN (33,750 lbf) to 3,500 kN (800,000 lbf).


  • Dynamic and Fatigue Testing Systems - Dynamic testing systems covers ElectroPuls electrodynamic and 8800 series servohydraulic machines for performing fatigue, fracture mechanics, bi-axial, multi-axial, high strain rate and thermo-mechanical fatigue tests.


  • Impact Drop Towers & Pendulums - Impact resistance is one of the most important properties for component designers to consider, as well as the most difficult to quantify. Impact resistance is a critical measure of service life and it involves the perplexing problem of product safety and liability.


  • Rheometers and Melt Flow Testers - The Instron line of CEAST Rheology systems are used to measure the rheological properties of thermoplastics to characterize the polymer melt flow behavior in the process conditions.


  • ThermoMechanical Systems - The Instron line of CEAST Thermo-mechanical systems are used to characterize the behavior of plastic materials at high temperatures, measuring the heat deflection temperature (HDT) and the Vicat softening temperature (Vicat).


  • Automated Specimen Handling Systems - Automated Specimen Handling Systems enable a new dimension of testing productivity. Available as either a complete turnkey solution or fitted to existing Instron testing instruments, both options are tailored to your testing operations and throughput requirements.


  • Torsion Testers - The Instron line of low and medium capacity torsion testers provide dependable mulit-turn capability. Available in capacities ranging from 22 - 5,650 N-m (200 - 50,000 in lb), these systems are ideal for biomedical, automotive, and aerospace applications.

Available at CAVS

Instron 5869

Instron 5869

The Instron 5869 housed at CAVS is a tabletop, electromechanical testing machine that can perform a variety of mechanical tests.
A brief list for equipment available for use with the 5869 is:

  • Load cells ranging from 1 kN to 50 kN
  • Compression platens -- these come in a range of sizes for use with appropriately sized specimens
  • Tension grips -- Two sets are available; (1) A long-neck pair for use with the elevated temperature ovens, and (2) a short-neck pair for ambient testing conditions. Several grip sizes are accessible for accommodating both flat and round specimen geometries.
  • Three-point bend structures
  • Extensometers
  • Elevated temperature ovens

Instron 5882

Instron 5882

The Instron 5882 housed at CAVS is a freestanding, electromechanical testing machine that can perform a variety of mechanical tests.
A brief list for equipment available for use with the 5882 is:

  • Load cells ranging from 1 kN to 100 kN
  • Compression platens -- these come in a range of sizes for use with appropriately sized specimens
  • Tension grips -- Two sets are available; (1) A long-neck pair for use with the elevated temperature ovens, and (2) a short-neck pair for ambient testing conditions. Several grip sizes are accessible for accommodating both flat and round specimen geometries.
  • Three-point bend structures
  • Extensometers
  • Elevated temperature ovens

For experimental methods related to using this machine, refer to the Experimental Methods section.

Instron 8850

Experimental Methods

Compression Testing

Uniaxial compression experiments are extremely useful for quickly determining several key mechanical properties of a material due to the simple geometry required for testing. In particular, the elastic modulus, anisotropy of the material, and yield strength are easily garnered.

Metals

Steels or Iron-Based Metals

Figure 1. Sample geometry for a compression test.

Samples are cut from a bulk material and turned down to a cylindrical sample. A height to diameter ratio of 2:1 or 1.5:1 is recommended for obtaining an adequate strain value while minimizing the effects barreling on the sample. A sample drawing is provided in Figure 1. Typically, you should have grooves cut into the top and bottom faces of the material to allow the addition of a lubricant. The lubricant will reduce the friction between the sample and the platens in turn reducing the chances that barreling will occur. The size and number of grooves should be determined based on the amount of strain that is to be induced during testing.

Before any testing begins you should create a "Testing Matrix" that describes the nature of each test that is to be performed. By doing this, you will have a guide that will help you with regards to getting the most out of your available material, the money spent on the experiments, and your time. A few items you should think about for your test matrix are:

  • Strain rate -- which rates are important; why are they important
  • Anisotropy -- testing the various directions of the material
  • Temperature -- are you only needing experiments performed at ambient temp. or are higher temps. required
  • Priority -- if you have multiple types of strain rates, temperatures, etc., what are the most important tests?
  • ID numbers -- these will allow you to write an ID number on a specimen bag and quickly refer to the test parameters in your testing matrix

With your test matrix complete you can now move on to performing the necessary experiments. A good place to start is by labeling specimen bags with information that is consistent with the test matrix you've created. Again, ID numbers will make this job quick and efficient. Place all of your samples in each specimen bag you've labelled. Now, when you are at the machine for testing you can take a sample out, test that sample, and place it back in the back so that you do not have to worry about mixing up multiple samples.

For samples that have grooves, place the appropriate amount of lubricant on it. Place the sample on the platens, and make certain that the sample is centered. A moment is introduced as the sample is moved away from the center, which then causes a test that should have occurred as a uniaxial stress state to become a complex stress state.

CAUTION: Do not test materials that are harder than the platens being used. This will cause an inelastic deformation in the compression platens and requires the platens to be machined back to a flat surface. This costs you and your project time and money!!

Input your testing parameters into the software, and execute your compression test. Congratulations! You have completed your compression tests and can move on to testing your material in tension, torsion, or even more complex ways.

References

  1. Instron Testing Systems, Product descriptions
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