A universal testing machine, also abbreviated as UTM, is an essential asset for the staple of quality control laboratories all around the world. Almost all the quality and engineering professionals use this amazing equipment. A UTM is a testing machine that replaced the force testing machine used earlier by the professionals. It became very famous because it could push and pull without any kind of adapters. A UTM is used in order to test a wide range of the materials used in the various infrastructural and technical projects. It provides engineering and quality control staff with valuable information. But many of the users sometimes ignore the evaluation aspect while purchasing a UTM or even at regular intervals during usage. So, a question arises here, whether you should know about the quality of a universal testing machine? The answer is definitely yes! And for ensuring this thing, we will discuss the configuration of a UTM so that you can carefully assess the quality of this amazing equipment.
A UTM usually consists of the following parts:
- Load cell: This is the part located at the heart of most of the measurement systems in UTMs. The strain gauges, which are applied to a structure, stretch, and compress with the loading of the structure. The electrical resistance changes with the deformation of the gages, which results in upsetting of the balance within the circuit. This imbalance is then processed by the data acquisition hardware. Then the signals are converted into that form which could be understood by the PCs and indicators. Then, the data is represented in the appropriate units of measurement.
- Test frame: UTMs can be of different types on the basis of their force capacity. They may be single-columned or twin-columned. Single columned UTMs are for the lower forces while the twin-columned are for the higher forces. Some of the UTMs utilize hydraulics technology, but still, the majority of them are driven by one or two lead screws. The accuracy and the range of the load cell affect the force accuracy the most. This also affects the universal testing machine cost.
- Encoder or linear scale: An integrated encoder can measure the travel distance as the crosshead moves up and down by the screw. This measurement is done only in those cases where the applications need the measurement of the sample deflection along with force. An extensometer offers a much better resolution in cases where small deflections are expected. This device clamps to 2 points on the sample and then measures the compression or the stretch between those 2 points.
- Data collection software: In some cases, the data about the raw force and the distance is enough for the quality control professionals. However, in most of the applications, the data collection software is given due importance because it calculates the results in a useful manner. For instance, the elongation test can be monitored with the help of a distance vs force or strain vs stress. As long as the sample reaches its yield strength, the arc of the data curve changes until it touches the point of its ultimate strength. This arc starts dropping when the test reaches the breaking point.
- Grips and fixtures: Many grips have been designed and developed over the past years, in order to conduct a virtually unlimited number of applications. Some of the most commonly used grips may include wedge grips for metals and plastic, parallel jaw grips for films and fabrics, compression plates for foams and springs, etc.
So, this was all the information we wanted you to know for ensuring that you know the quality of a universal testing machine. For this, you can contact different universal testing machine suppliers.