The Importance of Materials Testing

Amber De Gama
Category: Articles

When materials testing and characterization is carried out, it allows us to understand the fundamental properties of a certain material when it is subjected to service and environmental loading and operating conditions. Materials testing is what helps us to quantify and understand whether a specific material is suitable to a certain application. Materials that have not been tested and then used in an aerospace, automotive or biometrical product could be extremely dangerous.
There are generally 2 classes of testing materials for mechanical testing of materials; Electro-mechanical and Servo-Hydraulic. The electro-mechanical machine is capable of rate and static controlled loadings and it is often used for material characterization and testing properties of rubber, metals, plastic and elastomers that are subjected to various ASTM and ISO standards.
The Servo-hydraulic testing system will utilize a hydraulic actuator in order to apply loadings and is also used to test for fatigue and dynamic properties. A microprocessor based closed loop control system could be implemented in either type of machine to accurately control the loadings. With a Servo-hydraulic test system, you are also able to test the materials for crack and failure properties. When it comes to the suitability of these machines for various testing, an electromechanical machine is able to provide a large displacement, while the Servo-hydraulic system can generate high forces. When testing for polymer and metal properties, both of these machines types are used.
Mechanical Testing
There are many different mechanical testing methods that are used to evaluate materials under different loading conditions. For characterizing materials for design and analyzing failures, analysis of stress-strain properties and micro-structure is quite useful.
Mechanical properties could be determined for all types of materials that are found in aerospace, automotive and biometrical applications. The below mechanical tests could provide more information on the mechanical properties and characteristics of materials:
• Ductility and Hardness
• Stress and Strain
• Maximum Elongation
• Impact Resistance
• Fracture Toughness
At Monitoring & Control Laboratories we specialize in a wide range of materials testing equipment and services. For more information, contact us on 022 608 4664, or visit our website on www.moncon.co.za.

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