One of the testing machines is equipped with a makroXtens extensometer. This contact-type extensometer is designed for tensile, compression, flexure and cyclic tests in manual and automated testing systems. Fine-strain measurement for determination of Young’s modulus is also possible, involving a strain range between 0.05 and 0.25 %. Pneumatic grips developed by Zwick are used to hold the specimens. The required gripping force is generated via a pneumatic actuator, which, depending on size, acts either directly on the jaws or via a lever-system. The second testing machine is fitted with a motorized flexure table for 3 and 4-point flexure loads, plus a digital flexure transducer. This measures deflection directly under the specimen in accordance with ISO 178, ASTM D 790 and ISO 14125.
To obtain a higher magazine capacity (> 400 specimens), the specimens are stacked. Handling is via a KUKA KR5 robot. A special feature of this system is the combined vacuum and pincer gripper; the vacuum function is used to remove specimens from the stack and the pincer function to provide a force-locked grip on the specimen (remains). The entire system is controlled via an industrial controller using Zwick’s autoEdition2 automation software – a sophisticated automation solution for plastics testing.
As well as those at its Schwechat site, Borealis employs additional Zwick testing machines for its research activities in Lintz, including an identical second automated testing system.