The German parent of Zwick USA, Kennesaw, Ga., has launched a next-generation of universal testers that reportedly set the standard for accuracy, versatility and flexibility in the testing of thermoplastics for automotive applications. According to plastics industry manager Florian Liebert, the development was spurred by the increasing collaboration between automotive OEMs and suppliers on the establishment of new thermoplastics for use in various structural applications. This is all driven by rising fuel prices and the introduction of new fuel economy regulations that are influencing the adoption of new materials aimed at reducing weight in passenger vehicles. The new generation of Allround-Line systems is designed to offer OEMs and suppliers a means to more accurately and efficiently characterize the mechanical behavior of thermoplastics—at the material and component levels.
Engineered with dual-testing areas that minimize changeover time between tests, these systems are said to boost throughput levels without sacrificing performance. These units can store and retrieve complete toolset data, creating a significant advantage for repetitive, quality assurance level testing. Automatic positioning and recall of safety-related distances speed changeover from one test setup to another, such as from tensile to flexure. Coupled with mechanical modularity, these elements combine to provide exceptional value of QA testing of components, an area that involves complex, varying geometry among test specimens. These units also accommodate a flexible plug-and-slot system that allows specimen grips and test fixtures to be changed when required, enabling a single system to address a wide range of tests. “This is extremely useful for component level testing of automotive thermoplastics where high throughput is a requirement and geometry of the test specimen varies widely,” says Liebert. (770) 420-6555 • zwickusa.com