Testing Tips

Lab Review Complimentary from Thwing-Albert

Make sure your lab is equipped with the right testing machines to measure and evaluate quality! Request a complimentary lab review from Thwing-Albert.

Testing laboratories are constantly working to improve product quality. Thwing-Albert Instrument Company can help provide a single-source solution for updating and maintaining the testing machines used daily to verify that materials are meeting industry standards including ISO, ASTM, TAPPI and many others.

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Sample Preparation: A critical aspect to successful testing.

Sample Preparation: A critical aspect to successful testing.

The capability to prepare test specimens accurately, efficiently and safely is critical to insuring reliable and repeatable test results. Inadequate sample preparation can lead to additional retesting and higher costs while improper tools can endanger operator safety. The selection of the optimal sample cutter depends on a few key factors:

  • The type of material being cut
  • The required dimensions of the specimen
  • Ease of use
  • Repeatability and accuracy of the cut specimen

Some sample cutters are designed for a specific use such as cutting dedicated width for tensile, seal and adhesion tests.  There are also sample cutters that provide a higher level of flexibility utilizing interchangeable cutting dies that can be configured to cut complex shapes and multiple specimens at a time.

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Loop Tack Test for Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

The loop tack test measures the contact tack of an adhesive tape that has been formed into a loop. The fixture meets the requirements for ASTM D6195, FINAT FTM 9 and PSTC 16.   When used with the Vantage NX Universal Tensile Tester, a pair of grips hold the sample and the fixture during the test.  The Vantage NX Tester is paired with MAP4 Materials Testing Software which is configured to meet the industry standard and programs the test based on the method selected.  The sample’s adhesive properties are then displayed as real-time results including peak force to debond from the plate.

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Putting a Value to Softness with the VantageNX.

The quest for softness of an end user product can be quite subjective. However, when paired with MAP4 software, the VantageNX Universal Testing Machine can be used to calculate an objective softness value. Compression/softness results of high loft nonwovens can be evaluated to measure a combination of factors including sample loft, thickness, compressibility and structural softness. The test measures the material from the compression phase all the way through the relaxation phase of the material.

Configurable to Meet Industry Standards Including:    
NWSP 120.6, EDANA 30.4-89, ISO EN 9863-1:2005 and other ASTM, INDA, EDANA ISO, NWST, TAPPI, etc

Download the full article to learn more about this test and the ability to capture a calculated value for softness...click here.

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Take Control of Testing Analysis with MAP-4 Software

MAP-4 Materials Testing Software from Thwing-Albert simplifies the analysis of physical properties of materials.

Compatible with Windows Operating Systems, MAP-4 is used to run tests on the Vantage Series of Universal Testing Machines. The software platform is intuitive and offers clean, easy-to-use menus. Real-time graphical results are displayed during testing and can be customized to show a variety of information.

Test methods can be selected from the built-in library of standards to meet ASTM, ISO and other unique materials testing applications. Whether the goal is to measure tensile strength, COF, puncture, pull tests, grab tests, or a number of other applications, MAP-4 can easily be configured to run the test and evaluate the data.

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Clean tensile cuts every time, with the JDC Precision Sample Cutter.

The Thwing-Albert JDC Precision Sample Cutter is widely recognized as the preferred sample preparation tool for tensile testing of thin sheeted materials due to the cutting accuracy.  So, how did the JDC win that reputation?  Lots of attention to detail for the blades and a strict quality control process.

When the JDC cuts test strips, they are an exact width and parallel throughout their entire length. The positive cutting action of the dual blades and precision ground base shear cut both sides of the sample at once assuring a clean, accurate cut every time. The cutting blades are made of high quality tool steel which is stress relieved by cycling between cold and hot temperatures to prevent the blades from warping.  Customers can select from models to cut widths of 1/8 to 3 inch and strip lengths of 10, 12, or 16 inches. 

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How to perform a film blocking test?

Blocking is the unwanted adhesion between layers of plastic film.  Results reflect the ability of a material to adhere to itself when pulled apart.  ASTM D3354 specifications are used to program MAP-4 materials testing software to run the blocking test.  The results demonstrate the degree of blocking that exists as a result of factors including film processing, storage, temperature and pressure.

To measure the blocking load of a plastic film by the parallel plate method, the Thwing-Albert Vantage Series Tensile Testers with MAP-4 software can be used to quickly analyze the data collected from the test. 

ASTM D3354 - Blocking Fixture from Thwing-AlbertThe method can be summarized:

  • Using two plastic blocks the two layers of film are pressed between them
  • One layer of film is attached to the upper block and the other layer is attached to the lower block
  • The upper and lower block are slowly separated
  • The film layers are then pulled apart at a constant speed until separated
  • The force to separate the layers of film is recorded in realtime

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Score Quality Test for Corrugated

The Score Quality Test is used for corrugated containers according to TAPPI T829 when attached to the 1270 PCA Score Bend Tester or the EJA Vantage Series Universal Testing Machine you can study the realtive quality of scores for various packaging applicaitons. 

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Tensile test results and the importance of sample preparation.

The EJA Vantage is used to run a tensile test with MAP-4 materials testing software.Cuts made to prepare a sample for tensile testing are critical to the accuracy and quality of the results. Preparing a sample without jagged edges or nicks is vital to ensure accurate tensile results. Those imperfections will affect the ability to provide consistent tensile results for the physical properties of the specimen. The way a sample is handled can also have an impact on the tensile test results and should also be handled with care once cut.

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How to choose the right instrument to measure thickness of compressible materials?

ProGage pressure footAccurate thickness measurements are critical to product quality in many manufacturing applications such as paper, plastic film, nonwovens, and textiles. Testing can optimize the raw materials for production and ultimately reduce costs. So, how do you choose the right type of thickness gauge when there are so many options on the market? To narrow the search, it will be important to consider the material to be tested, the application and the precision required to meet any specific industry standards.

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