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Expandable Modular Melt Indexer, 'Three-Level' Software For Universal Machines

July 1, 2001

4 Min Read
Expandable Modular Melt Indexer, 'Three-Level' Software For Universal Machines

July, 2001

Testing:

Expandable Modular Melt Indexer, 'Three-Level' Software For Universal Machines

01_0701pn-10.jpgTinius Olsen is offering a new advanced melt indexer, as well as new software for data acquisition and closed-loop control of universal testing machines that have a compatible servo system or four-quadrant drive.

Melt indexer Like most melt indexers, the MP600 is designed to calculate and display a resin's melt flow rate. This unit, however, is supplied as a basic, modular unit that can be expanded with addition of accessory packages. These packages equip the unit for more automated testing functions, such as control of multiple units from a single PC and automatic flow rate measurements using up to three different loads in one test. The MP600 starts at around $5,000.

The basic unit comes with operating tools, piston rod and orifices. Weights can be added for Procedure A (manual operation) type tests. Weights and reference thermometers are available for all standard and custom applications. To test fluorocarbon materials, corrosion-resistant components can be supplied.

The MP600's microprocessor-based digital controller features a membrane keypad, 4-line vacuum fluorescent display, serial port, non-volatile memory for storage of calibration data and up to 25 sets of user-programmable test parameters, indicating LED's and integral audio alarm.

For Procedure B (automatically timed tests), the MP600 can be equipped with an optional PPDT-600 automatic timing switch. It uses an optical encoder for piston position measurement rated at better than 0.001 in. Among its capabilities are calculation and display of capture time, flow rate and volume rate for each capture; display of apparent shear stress, shear rate and viscosity; calculation of melt density using a cut-off weight and built-in subroutine and automatic selection of piston travel distance.

The optional MWLD-600 motorized weight support lowering and lifting device further automates the melt flow test. It features a rotary encoder to allow for precise positioning of the weight support platform and it can be programmed to support a test load at a predetermined height and to automatically lower the weight at the end of the preheat period.

The MWLD-600 also has an integrated weight 'swing-away' feature that automatically moves the test weight out of the way to prevent it from interfering with the machine cleaning process at the end of each test.

Other options: flow rate ratio attachment (allows flow rate determinations to be made using two or three different test loads on one charge of material) and the company's EP600 test and data acquisition software for testing control from an IBM-compatible PC. These packages are available for control of up to 10 machines. 

0701pn-11.jpgSoftware Test Navigator software is designed specifically for Tinius Olsen's S-series benchtop universal testing machines, or floor model machines equipped with the Model 398 indicating system. There are three levels of functionality: Basic, Standard and Plus.

All three include: use of SQL Server databases; user customized reports; standard SPC programs for X-bar, R and frequency distribution/histograms; the ability to recall, replot and rescale curves; selection of available standard test modules for a variety of applications; the ability to recall test information spanning test modules and user-configurable machine parameter and control settings.

Each package comes with one test module. Available modules include metals tensile, plastics/elastomer tensile, compression, fastener testing and textile testing. Custom modules are optional.

The Basic package includes a graphic interface; a Wizard for creating or modifying test settings; a built-in recall function; an advanced help system, which can be printed; SQL Server 7 advanced database interface and a device to accept inputs from micrometers, calipers and scales.

The Standard package adds to the Basic package: a test result creator; the ability to zoom in on graph sections; the ability to have different graphs and reports generated between printout and screen; advanced modulus calculations; multi-curve functionality; the ability to export test results and test curve data in ASCII delimited format; instrument set-up; channel definition and the ability to incorporate a company logo onto printouts.

For users with more extensive requirements, the Plus package expands the capabilities of the Standard package with: the ability to define result formulas; the ability to import test information; direct query editing for recalling tests; advanced device input and the ability to calculate results from a stored curve.

Minimum hardware requirements for all Test Navigator packages include a Pentium II-based 400 mHz or compatible computer; 64 mb of RAM 85 mb of hard disk storage (more is recommended for data storage); Windows 2000; monitor and graphics card with at least 256 colors; pointing device; serial (COM) port for communicating with the test machine; second serial port for communicating with any measuring devices; a USB port; a CD-ROM drive and a printer. The Basic package is priced at $3,500. 

Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Co.
Willow Grove, PA

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