Content for Materials Testing Professionals

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What is R-Value?

R-value (also known as “Plastic Strain Ratio”) is a measurement of the drawability of a sheet metal. Simply put, it measures the resistance of a material to thinning or thickening when put tension or compression. R-value is a very important material property to understand for materials that will be formed into various shapes in their end use. When testing in accordance to popular standards such as ISO 10113 or ASTM E517, R-value is required.

Posted On Dec 27, 2012 02:30 PM

Stronger than Steel and more Elastic than Rubber

As we enter spring, spiders are becoming a nuisance as they make their silky homes on our patios and porches. However, not all byproducts of spiders are considered a nuisance. Not only does Spider-Man boast the super strength of spider silk, but the textile Kevlar® was developed with properties that compare to the fiber. Now, scientists have uncovered fascinating new facts about this material that offer intriguing possibilities for the future. Learn more about these discoveries and the growing repertoire of spider silk uses

Posted On Apr 27, 2012 02:10 PM

Bamboo Bikes - A "Growth" Industry

Bamboo is a natural composite material comprising cellulose fibers embedded in a lignin matrix. The cellulose fibers are aligned along the length of the bamboo providing maximum tensile strength and rigidity in that direction. Moreover, the fibers are most abundant on the outermost part of the bamboo stem while the inner part of the stem is hollow, meaning that bamboo is strong, stiff, and light.

Posted On Apr 19, 2012 02:10 PM

Strain Measurement When Testing Composites

When testing composite specimens, effective strain measurement often requires the direct bonding of strain gauges to the specimen. It is generally not possible to connect individual strain gauges directly to materials testing systems since the electronics are typically designed for a "full Wheatstone bridge" whereas a single strain gauge is only a "quarter bridge".

Posted On Apr 19, 2012 02:10 PM

Testing Uncovers Titanic Mystery

In light of the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic this weekend, we're sharing a story found on

Posted On Apr 13, 2012 02:10 PM

Doing Their Part to Ensure Safety on the Playing Field

We were approached by several visitors at NPE whose companies were interested in learning more about impact testing of helmets as it relates to increased safety. Many of us that are sports enthusiasts are reading more and more about concussions and the potentially devastating effects they can have on athletes as they occur on the field – and their long-lasting effects later on in life. There is a growing urgency to enhance the safety of athletes – especially in football and hockey.

Not only are our customers focusing on safety, I found this interesting article about two high school althetes who, after witnessing a sports-related injury, decided to enter the Rhode Island Science & Engineering Fair with their findings on impact testing of head gear. I won't spoil their results, but I will mention that they went on to receive blue ribbons for their project!

Posted On Apr 10, 2012 02:10 PM

Fatigue Testing of Stents and Stent Materials

It seems we've been focusing a lot on the medical and biomaterials markets lately, but it's an industry that is growing with new techniques, standards, and more.

Posted On Apr 06, 2012 02:10 PM

What is the Buzz from Orlando?

With NPE well underway in sunny Orlando, FL, we've heard from our colleagues in the booth about the excitement and energy that's filling the 920,000 square feet of exhibiting space. Also, one note of surprise is that a lot of the attendees who stop by the booth are not aware that CEAST products are a valuable part of the Instron line.

Posted On Apr 04, 2012 02:10 PM

When is Fatigue Not a Weakness?

As a materials testing company everyone at Instron usually sees fatigue as a weakness, but 3 Engineers from our UK office actively seek out fatigue for thrills on the weekends.

Posted On Mar 27, 2012 02:10 PM