A Universal testing machine (UTM) is used to study the mechanical properties such as the tensile strength, elongation, bending and compressive strength of a given test specimen by exerting tensile, compressive or transverse stresses. The machine has been named so because of the wide range of tests it can perform over different kind of materials. Different tests like peel test, flexural test, tension test, bend test, friction test, spring test etc. can be performed with the help of UTM. The UTM machines are routinely used for research and development projects and quality testing of materials according to relevant ISO standards.
Prevest Research Institute has few UTM machines. One of the model is Shimadzu AG-X plus with the TRAPEZIUMX software for the analysis. The instrument works below 5kN with a Crosshead Speed Accuracy of ±0.1
Some critical application of UTM machine includes:
- Determining Batch Quality– The quality of the component materials often determines the sample’s structural integrity. As a matter of fact, a single substandard base material will be enough to render an entire component unfit for usage. As such, testers can be used to determine if an entire production batch is consistent with generally accepted manufacturing standards.
- Improving Design and Manufacturing Procedures– There is no telling how good a product is before it is used by consumers. With tensile test machines, however, one can predict how these products will react if exposed to similar elements found in the test. This will serve as an opportunity for manufacturers to improve on their design by exposing critical flaws in the samples. This could also lead to them optimizing on their manufacturing costs by replacing substandard materials with more durable alternatives.
- Failure Analysis– From a certain point of view, these tests do not only tell if a material is compatible with the purpose it will be used for. It could also help manufacturers identify how and why such materials would fail.
By making a material reach its breaking point, testers can determine at what point and in what manner will their products undergo critical failure. This could be used to improve on their products or educate end-users on the correct usage to prevent unwanted incidents.