posted on 17/03/2010
Instron, a leading provider of testing equipment solutions designed to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components, is pleased to announce the successful commissioning of an extra-height 600kN universal testing system with the capability for tensile testing of advanced structural composites between -80°C and +350°C, at Hexcel Composites in Duxford, UK.
As one of the preferred supplier for mechanical testing equipment at Hexcel, Instron and Hexcel have a long-standing relationship – exceeding more than 20 years. With a large number of testing frames already installed at various Hexcel sites across the globe, Hexcel’s Duxford site is equipped with a number of Instron systems ranging from bench top machines to the newest acquisition.
“Instron was chosen thanks to their excellent after-care support, servicing capabilities, and ability to meet machine requirements. Instron equipment has been used in the testing laboratory at Duxford for a number of years without issue and the material technicians on site are very comfortable with the operation of the frames and Bluehill software” comments John Rennick, Hexcel's Laboratory Engineer.
Their newest Instron system possesses excellent alignment characteristics and is fully equipped to perform a wide variety of tests. It is fitted with an alignment fixture that allows any load string misalignment to be removed as per NADCAP standards. The hydraulic grips aid achievement of good specimen alignment and also provide excellent gripping performance at high loads. The special design allows the gripping heads and specimens to be enveloped in an environmental chamber, allowing test temperatures between -80°C and +350°C to be achieved while keeping all hydraulic oil outside of the chamber.
The system comes equipped with Instron Bluehill® 2 testing software. Hexcel, Duxford recently upgraded software on all Instron frames to Bluehill® 2 to allow a common user interface, which reduces operating training costs and the potential for mistakes. The software is intuitive and easy to master while still containing all the functionality required to perform advanced calculations and generate the report formats required by Hexcel’s customers. All of their existing Bluehill® 1 test methods were converted automatically to the newer software using the built-in conversion utility.
“Instron provided excellent support and communication throughout the whole process, assigning a dedicated project engineer to the testing of the new frame, both at Instron and on-site at Hexcel. We were given a date whereby the frame would be installed and working, and this date was met. The frame was signed off and commissioned within 3 weeks of delivery; an excellent achievement given the demanding acceptance criteria!” added John Rennick.