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What's new in testing & Q-C.

Computers and software are the key to new compactness, lower cost, wider range of capabilities, and SPC and automation features.

Almost every kind of chemical, thermal, mechanical, rheological, flammability, and color testing/analyzing instrument is to be found among the new product introductions at this NPE show. Some are intended more for the R&D lab, others for quality assurance on the shop floor. Much of what's new is in computer software for automated test operation, data acquisition, and SPC/SQC reporting. Hands-off robotic automation will also be featured. Particular new items to look for include hand-held spectrophotometers and spectrocolorimeters that can take sophisticated color measurement into hitherto inaccessible areas of the production floor; lower cost instruments, such as an on-line i-r spectrometer, noncontacting laser extensometers for testing elongation of fragile materials; and new instrument combinations for one-step analysis-- such as what's said to be the first GPC unit with viscometer and refractometer.



Automatic Machinery Corp., Charlotte, N.C., will launch a new low-cost version of its IROS-100 infrared spectrometer for on-line analysis of plastic melt streams in compounding. New IROS-SP Polymer Analyzer is intended for dedicated applications in quantifying additive levels, copolymer ratios, and degree of polymerization. By selecting specific infrared filters, the instrument can be configured to analyze for individual components within the melt stream, reporting in user-selected units.

Waters Chromatography Div. of Millipore Corp., Milford, Mass., will unveil the Waters GPC/Viscometry System, said to be the first gel-permeation chromatograph to be equipped with a viscometer and a refractometer. As a result, with just one injection of sample, polymer chemists can obtain molecular weight, molecular-weight distribution, and chain-branching information on polymers. The new system also features automatic sample filtration and injection and comes with a carousel that holds up to 16 sample vials.

Solomat Instrumentation, Stamford, Conn., is introducing a new generation of thermal analysis and rheology instruments, said to combine new technology developed at European universities with the modular instrumentation, electronics and software used in the company's other instruments. New units include the TSC-RMA 41000 thermomechanical spectrometer, reportedly an ultra-sensitive unit (10,000 times more sensitive than standard DMA, TMA and DEA instrments) that analyzes viscoelastic relaxation phenomena in polymers, and the new, competitively priced DSC 4000 calorimeter.

Testing Machines Inc., Amityville, N.Y., will feature a new model ED-120T high-precision electronic densimeter, which employs a novel water-tank design to eliminate common problems in specific-gravity measurement. It has a density resolution of 0.001 g/cc and stabilization time to 1 min.


Two firms will introcuce laser-type extensometers as alternatives to contacting-type elongation testers. Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Co., Willow Grove, Pa., will introduce its new pushbutton-controlled 10,000-lb capacity Series 10000 Universal Testing Machine, equipped with the company's new advanced 70H 500L Scanning Laser Extensometer and the latest version of the company's software. The laser device is used to determine strain characteristics of light-guage, high-elongation materials, on which use of a contacting extensometer is difficult or impssible. A laser beam from the scanning extensometer hits reflective-tape gauge marks on the specimen; elongation is then continuously compared to the original gauge length during the test and is shown as a percent in large digits on an LCD.

Lloyd Instruments, Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., will be launching the Lasercan 100, a novel noncontacting extensometer for low-cost precision strain measurement in elastic, fragile or ductile materials. It employs what's said to be a novel, reliable scanning mechanism with significant advantages over alternative rotating-mirror systems, particularly with regard to long-term stability. In addition, the company will launch new SPC software for use with the company's materials-testing equipment that runs on IBM-compabible PCs.

Also to be introduced by Lloyd is the model LR50K tensile tester. This highly accurate, 11,000-lb researc-grade machine is the first in a series of new-generation low-force materials testing machines to be introduced by Lloyd this year.

Instron Corp., Canton Mass., will introduce a new high-resolution, digital, automated extensometer. The heart of this system is a digital transducer with a resolution of better than 1.00 micron for accurate measurement of high-modulus materials. The transducer has two measurement ranges--high resolution for high-modulus materials and a long-travel range for more extensible materials or for continuation of tests into the plastic region and on to break.

Instron will also show its new quality-control test instrument, Model 4301, which is said to provide simple, reliable operation and accurate, reproducible test results. The console features direct reading of test parameters and data readouts in engineering units, as well as computer compatibility.

Applied Test Systems, Inc., Butler, Pa., will feature the newest addition to its line of universal testing machines, the Series 1101. The compact and economical benchtop model performs tension, compression, shear and flexural testing with twin-screw accuracy in capacities up to 1000 lb. The 14-in. clearance between columns and up to 42-in. crosshead travel provide an extra-large testing area to accommodate various sizes of chambers, fixtures, and samples.

Dynatup/General Research Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., will be introducing a fully automated instrumented impact tester, the Dynatup Autoloader, designed for high-volume stand-along operations. It incorporates all the features of the company's Model 8250 test machine along with capability to condition and test samples over a -60 to 300 F temperature range. Mechanical refrigeration eliminates the need to deal with cumbersome tanks.

Also to be featured is a new data-acquisition system, Dynatup Model 830-I, the company's fourth-generation instrumentation package for drop-weight and pendulum impact testers, said to provide accurate energy absorption values and graphic load-deflection energy data for each impact test.

Ametek, Inc.'s Mansfield & Green Div., Largo, Fla., will introduce a new motorized programmable tension/compression testing instrument, the Accu Force Elite Test Stand, which is capable of performing tests with up to 500-lb force and storing up to 10 test configurations in its nonvolatile memory.


Seiscor Technologies, Inc., Tulsa, Okla., will launch a new low-cost, in-line rheometer (ILR), which returns samples to process. Simplified design is said to reduce cost and maintenance requirements. The unit can be programmed to display viscosity, flow index or MFI data. Interchangeable capillaries allow the ILR to measure a wide range of viscosity or MFI.

The company will also show its new flow characterization rheometer, which provides real-time data on MFI, HLMI, and viscosity. Dual flow channels permit making low-shear and high-shear measurements simultaneously.

Finally, Seiscor will introducer a REX-1000 rheometer and automatic sampler for particular materials. It's primarily intended as an automated sampling and viscosity/MFI measuring station.

Haake Div. of Fisons Instruments, Paramus, N.J., will show an upgraded version of its RC 90 torque rheometer, as well as new applications sosftware. The software includes an extrusion capillary rheometer package for automated rheological measurements; a new ASCII data-converion package that allows instrument data to be transferred into commercial spreadsheet and data-management programs; and control software that supports a new mid-range torque load cell, which expands the torque rheometer's range.

Rheometrics, Inc., Piscataway, N.J., will also feature recently introduced software, including its latest version for rheological testing and data analysis, called Rhios (Rheometrics Integrated Operating Software) for test operation and Rhecalc (Rheometrics Enhanced Calculation Program) for data analysis.

Rhios controls rheometer operation and collects, stores, displays and transfers data. Rhecalc, which comes in two modules, is used for data analysis. Module 1 generates master curves using more/temperature other superpositions, employing vertical and horizontal shifting. Module 2 performs rheological transforms to calculate relaxation and retardation spectra; interconverts these and other rheological variables; calculates rheological variables from spectra; and calculates zero-shear viscosity using several methods.



Some of the most interestinng recent news in this field has been the advent of more sophisticated hand-held color-measuring instruments, some of which can communicate with full-fledged color-formulating computer systems. These instruments make spectrophotometric quality-control measurements possible on the production floor, in locations normally inaccessible to performing color measurement.

Hunter Associates Laboratory, Inc., Reston, Va., will show its recently introduced, battery-powered Mini-Scan units, along with its two latest software packages for its UltraScan spectrocolorimeter--MatchMaker and SpecWare (PT, June '90, p. 57; Jan. '91, p. 30).

Applied Color Systems, Inc., Princeton, N.J., will show its recently developed PCS-500 Series hand-held spectrophotometers, which are said to bring precise color measurement directly onto the manufacturing floor. These units weigh less than 3 lb and perform both tristimulus and spectral data color measurement. Suitable for machine-side use, they feature three illuminants, 36-point spectral data measurement, resolution of 10 nm, instantaneous numeric and graphic display of output, and storage capacity for up to 50 color standards and 500 batches. For SPC and SQC analysis, these units also can upload to and download from a remote ACS-Datacolor Chroma-QC Color Quality Control System.

ACS will also introduce a new, comprehensive and fully integrated line of systems, instruments and software for laboratory and production color formulation, matching, batch correction and quality control. The new Model 2018 Color Control System includes an IBM PS/2 PC, ACS-Data-color Chroma-Sensor spectrophotometer, and a new generation of Chroma-Calc 2.0 color-control software. The 2018 Systems are said to enable users to generate color fomulas up to 50% faster than previously available systems.

X-Rite, Inc., Grandville, Mich., will feature its recently introduced hand-held model 968 spectrophotometer, and new model 948 hand-held spectrocolorimeter, both designed for color comparison and quality control on the production floor.

Macbeth Div. of Kollmorgen Instruments Corp., Newburgh, N.Y., will introduce a color-standards collection aimed at expanding the scale of hues in the pastel range. The new line of 1100 pastel colors, formulated in lacquer and coated on paper, is said to make selection and specification of pastels more accurate and simple.


Tarlin Scientific, Inc., Worcester, Mass., will introduce at NPE new software for complete automation of the NBS Smoke Chamber. Also, the company will feature a recently introduced cone calorimeter for measuring rate of heat release from burning materials. The unit also measures smoke emission, soot mass, toxic gases, ignitability, heat of combustion and mass-loss rate.

DSET Laboratories, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., will display a newly introduced weather testing instrument, the Xenotest 1200 CPS. This micro-processor-controlled xenon-arc machine offers user programmability, data-acquisition capability, and self-diagnostics.

Micro-Vu Corp., Windsor, Calif., will feature its new Model V260 Video Microscope, said to provide a fast and accurate way to measure dimensions on small plastic parts. It includes a high-resolution, electro-optical color video system; x-y measuring stage with positioning encoders of 0.1-mil resolution; metrology computer that provides geometric computations of angles, radii, and coordinate point-to-point distances; and SPC interface.

For 100% on-line, real-time defect detection in moving webs, Sira Inc., Darien, Conn. will show a new automatic inspection system called FastScan L10. It scans a laser beam across the moving web, which is picked up by a director below the web. Software reportedly provides defect classification and a user-friendly SPC interface. Other advantages cited are low cost, simple installation, and ambient-light operation (shrouding not required).
COPYRIGHT 1991 Gardner Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:National Plastics Exposition '91; quality control
Author:Sherman, Lilli Manolis
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Environmental mislabeling charges intensify.
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