The Challenge

Reverse engineering an existing part requires knowing the material properties as well as the physical dimensions.  A replacement drive shaft on your car may look identical to the original, but if it were made of glass and not steel your traveling days will be short lived.  One of our customers needed to verify that the material properties of a replacement part were identical to the original.  The Challenge was the size of the part did not allow us to extract standard specimen sizes typically used to run Cyclic fatigue, Tensile, and stress-rupture testing.  We had to scale down the specimens to fit the material provided and machine fixturing and a custom creep / rupture frame to adapt to the sub-scale specimen.

The Solution

Using ratios for a standard sized specimen, we scaled down the part to a point where it was the thickness and length of a quarter.  This allowed us to extract a specimen from within the material boundaries of the parts and provide the customer with a sample size that would allow for material properties testing.  In tandem we had to design a grip system that would attach to the sub-scale fatigue and tensile bars and prevent bending while installing into a standard servo-hydraulic fatigue frame.  For the stress-rupture specimens, we used the same sub-scale geometry and re-designed the fixturing and strain measurement instrumentation to accommodate such small sample sizes.  Off the shelf stress-rupture frames utilize a multiplying arm ratio to reduce the amount of dead weight required to achieve the required static stresses.  Due to the sub-scale size of the samples, we had to design and fabricate a stress rupture frame that did not require the multiplying effect while still providing a static load, alignment that would not induce abending under load, and digital data recording of the temperature, creep strain, and static load applied.

The Results

Innovative Test Solutions, inc. with our sister company, Innovative Machining Services, now provides our customers with the ability to extract, machine and test these sub-sized samples for a variety of testing needs.  Our Sub-Miniature Creep and Stress-Rupture Frames and hardware are capable of temperatures up to 2000°F.  Our Sub-Miniature Tensile and Cyclic Fatigue Testing can cover sub-ambient temperature up to 2000°F while providing closed loop, strain controlled testing with digital data acquisition.

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