Structural and Material Testing Laboratory (ISTB2-155): The Structural and Material Testing Laboratory is a facility for full scale structural testing, model testing, stress analysis, and material property determination of various materials, systems, and structures. A range of large to small scale experiments using closed-loop controlled tension, flexural, compression, and fracture tests can be conducted. Preparation of the test coupons is facilitated by a state-of-the-art machine shop that is available for this project. For specialized preparatory methods (e.g. waterjet cutting), locally available services in the greater Phoenix area are utilized.
(1) State-of-the-art closed loop high-performance digital servo-controlled MTS mechanical testing system with a capacity of 22,000 lbs. With an integral actuator, crossheads, and force transducers, this machine is used for tension, high cycle fatigue low cycle fatigue, creep, fatigue crack growth, and fracture toughness of materials ranging in strength from plastic to aluminum, composites and steel. Mid-scale experiments using closed loop controlled tension, flexural, compression, and fracture tests can be conducted. The laboratory is also equipped with environmental chambers for testing specimens from 15ºF to 300ºF.
(2) A state-of-the-art closed loop digital servo-controlled Instron mechanical testing system with a capacity of 55,000 lbs and SBEL uniaxial tension-compression mechanical test system with a capacity of 110,000 lbs are also available.
(3) Strain-gage excitation and amplification equipment in addition to a number of auxiliary measurement instruments (LVDT’s, signal conditioning devices, extensometers etc) are available. Also, microcomputer based systems for general purpose data acquisition, analysis, and data reduction are available.
(4) Several hydraulic rams are available for structural testing using the strong floor system.
(5) A Digital Image Correlation (DIC) system with Correlated Solution‘s VIC-3D software system. This is the state-of-the art system to obtain a full-field displacement and strain fields.
(7) MTS high rate servo-hydraulic testing machine with a maximum speed of 14 m/s with a load capacity of 200 kN. This machine also operates with closed-loop for tensile and compression testing at rates lower than 0.25 m/s. The velocity of the stroke/actuator is controlled by a servo-valve. The more open the servo valve, the higher the velocity of the actuator.
(7) High speed imaging applications using a Phantom v.7 high speed digital camera can be used to measure visual displacement of a sample. This camera has a 2 GB onboard memory with sample rates of up to 15,000 fps (frame per second) with resolution of 256 x 512 pixels. The pictures are stored in a computer via an integrated quick-release connector. A complete Correlated Solution Inc.’s Digital Imaging Correleation (DIC) system including VIC-3D software system is available for material characterization.
(8) Impact test set-up based on a free-fall drop of an instrumented hammer. The drop heights range from 1 to 200 cm, and can be controlled by means of an electronic hoist and release mechanism. An anti-rebound system consisting of a pneumatic brake system triggered by a contact type switch is used to stop the hammer after the duration of impact is completed. The experimental set-up consists of free weight, frictionless bearings along the drop columns, load cell, connection plate, and a set of threaded rods. The hammer releases from a predetermined drop height by means of an electronic brake release mechanism.
(9) A dynamic biaxial testing setup comprised of two actuators which are capable of applying displacement velocity and measuring displacement of test specimen in two orthogonal directions independently, two load cells with capacity of 20 and 50 kips which are used for force measurement, a grip assembly to hold the specimen, a sliding block on a steel roller which is mounted on ground, and connecting bars and universal joints. The load cell with capacity of 20 kips is used to measure the force in vertical direction, and the other was used to measure the force in horizontal direction. The grip assembly can hold specimens up to 6x6 inches.