Plastics testing: modernization opens up new possibilities

The plastics testing laboratory of a well-known chemicals company has for some considerable time been using mainly ZwickRoell testing machines for mechanical tests. The last few years have seen constant changes in the products being tested and in machine utilization, accompanied by comparable developments in testing technology. Following internal relocation of the testing laboratory plus organizational realignment, a 12-year old Z020 20kN testing machine became available for reassignment.

The machine had pneumatic grips, an older type of temperature chamber and earlier-generation electronics. For its new role the machine was to receive a technology makeover; this came in the form of a RetroLine tC II modernization package, with new machine drive and state-of-the-art testControl II testing electronics.

The temperature chamber and the pneumatic power-pack for the specimen grips were replaced. Incorporating existing components such as load cells, specimen grips and slide rails presented no difficulty. A makroXtens II high-resolution automatic extensometer was also installed to ensure compliance with the enhanced requirements of plastics tensile standard ISO 527.

The machine is now absolutely comparable with a new machine in terms of accuracy, operation, service reliability and future upgradability and can easily handle the higher testing volumes and more demanding testing requirements.

Modernization of additional machines is planned.