Within our quality lab here at Stern Rubber we have many pieces of technology. From 3-D printers and scanners, to our Keyence high speed measuring system, quality of our products is at the top of our list. Yet there is one piece of equipment in the lab, that is key to our product’s success and that is our TechPro tensile tester.
When it comes to rubber production, tensile strength is a key feature we focus on for material selection and product development. Tensile strength is the measurement of the force required to pull something such as rope, wire, rubber or any other structure to a point where it breaks. Here at Stern, like many other companies, we put to use the universal testing machine. This piece of equipment is hydraulic or electric driven, and runs on a uniaxial design that stretches the material by pulling it straight up and recording a read out upon the products failure (breaking). Although this seems like a simple test, alignment is very key, when it comes to this type of testing. If the material is not placed correctly in the machine, the results can be skewed due to force being reduced or added due to bending or shifting of the material.
As for the type of tests, the tensile tester focuses on four main parameters, force capacity, speed, precision, and accuracy. The strain measurements are most commonly measured with an extensometer, but on small test a strain gauge is also often used. New machines use digital time, force and elongation measurement, yet tests show that analog machines sill exceed the accuracy of these modern testers. The machine’s best feature is that it is designed to mimic the actual application of the product it is testing. Many of our products face several different environments and amounts of stress. So by using the tensile tester, we can display to our customer how strong or weak the product they are working with is, and adjust our material selection, and product design based on the parameters our customer is looking for.
Tensile testing is just one area of quality assurance we focus on here at Stern Rubber. Ensuring our products meet or exceed our customer’s expectations, is what we strive for, and with help from the tools and team members in our quality lab, we work to deliver the best products to all of our customers.