The Composite Material Laboratory at the Inholland University of Applied Sciences in Delft has selected a Moog Portable Test Controller to be used for single-axis testing of composite materials such as fibre-reinforced polymers.
This lab is used for research, education and commercial projects related to testing composite materials. The test system consists of a hydraulic actuator, hydraulic infrastructure, test load frame, test controller and operator software.
Initially, the lab used the system to perform material tests related to aerospace, and has since extended its scope to cover automotive and sports equipment, such as body work of scooters, various car parts, and hockey-sticks.
The increased need for using lightweight materials in a variety of products and parts has accelerated the amount and type of tests performed on composite materials. The characteristics of the composite material depend on the composition of the materials it contains, such as the quantity of carbon fiber in a resin, as well as how the two are combined.
“The Moog Portable Test Controller and software interface provide us above all with an increase in testing efficiency,” says Bob Brocken, an engineer and teacher at Inholland University. “We can now integrate more I/O devices than before and we can obtain real-time and realistic measurements from our climate chamber. The test software running on the Moog Test Controller provides a more efficient and user-friendly interface than the old controller. It also gives us more options than other software we have been using for material testing. For instance, now we can change the force we apply to a part during a testing sequence.
“At the moment, we are running a tension fatigue test. The objective is not to tear the material apart, but to measure the fatigue characteristics within the break limits. A composite material can consist of multiple layers, and we are trying to find out how strong the adhesion is between the layers. We prepare samples according to ASTM criteria.”
The Portable Test Controller can operate electric and hydraulic test actuators and even a 6-DOF hydraulic simulation table in a configuration with a maximum of six servo-control channels. It can be operated directly through the display in stand-alone mode, or by using a mobile device. Software features, such as station configuration, calibration and tuning, sequence building, playing, editing and recording sequences, are made available through the PC application with the ability to run multiple stations simultaneously.