The requirements of ASTM C1550-10a for determining flexural strength of fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) create several challenges for most standard test systems in service today. Specifically:
  • Size of the specimen: With a diameter of 800 mm (31.5 in) most existing load testing frames do not have the test space width to accommodate this.
  • Required stiffness of the frame: The extra wide test frame, which includes all load train components, must also have low deflection under load.
  • Accurate specimen deflection measurement: Specimen deflection must be measured accurately, either by a fixture mounted measuring device or by the ram postion correcting for the machine compliance under load.
  • Complex data analysis: The standard requires a detailed analysis of the load vs. deflection data to ensure the accurate reporting of flexural toughness. With most load test systems, the required analysis involves exporting the data to a spreadsheet or other analysis tool for generating test results.

Instron has supplied several test systems to companies in North America to meet these challenges. Each system was configured and accessorized to suit the customers specific needs but each system had the following things in common:

  • A stiff load frame with a wide test space to accommodate the 800 mm diameter x 75 mm thick round panels
  • Fixtures and measurement equipment to perform tests to ASTM C1550 and ASTM C1609.
  • Instron servo controller capable of advanced displacement and load control.
  • Bluehill Universal software as a user interface for test set-up, control and results display and management.

Each system was able to perform the required tests efficiently and accurately with no user interaction other than pushing the start button. After the test is completed Bluehill Universal performs all of the data analysis required by ASTM C1550-10a and displays the findings on the screen for the operator to evaluate. The results and data are also stored in an Access database for later retrieval and access via a network.

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