Many machine tool materials, such as those manufactured from sintered powder metal carbides, are extremely strong (5 GPa in compression is typical) with a high stiffness (>500 GPa). Often these materials are expensive to manufacture or are only available in small sample sizes.

An effective testing system should be capable of applying cyclic forces at very small load and displacement levels while maintaining a high frequency. Our ElectroPuls® Test Instrument offers the precision and repeatability necessary for testing of metals and metal carbides in tension, compression, flexure, and fatigue. With correct set up and selection of the right load cell and grips, the ElectroPuls test instrument provides a versatile platform for applying stable loads at the sub-Newton load level over many hours, as well as loads of more than 1000N as required for this particular test.

When testing at small loads, correct load cell selection is vital to ensure the appropriate measurement accuracy and control. For operating at higher frequencies, the integral inertia compensation feature of our Dynacell® load cells ensures that any inertial errors in the load reading are minimized.

We tested various heat treated v-notched specimens of these metal carbides using WaveMatrix2 Dynamic Testing Software and a small 4-point bend fixture supplied by The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK.

The software allowed us to quickly set up a test and its versatile data acquisition facilities provided accurate and relevant data collection in .CSV format, including an accurate record of fracture events. We were able to provide consistent, repeatable results over a number of tests.