By Travis Parkman, DMA Product Manager (PhD)
Keywords: automated testing, cured samples, fatigue testing, hysteresis loop, signal analysis
Earlier this summer, I attended the International Metravib DMA Distributor Meeting in France, where I got the chance to listen to industry leaders on how they use the Metravib DMA’s unique capabilities to further their research, witness firsthand the exciting new DMA innovations and connect with Metravib’s partners around the world. It was an incredible learning experience and I want to recap some of the incredible innovations coming from Metravib.
DMA+ XPANDER INNOVATIONS:
Since 1999, Metravib has been supplying high-performance automated DMAs. Metravib’s newest automated solution is named the Xpander, which allows you to load and test samples in tension, compression and shear.
The engineering of the 6-degree-of-freedom robot from Universal Robots doesn’t just look great, it is highly dependable and adaptable. An exciting innovation for the Xpander is that it can now grab and test samples that are glued to spacers. This increases the testing capabilities of the Xpander, which allows you to test irregularly shaped samples for example, DMA compression testing on rubber O-rings (or other cured rubber samples)!
When I wasn’t attending the scheduled workshops and meetings, I was taking in France’s rich culture and was lucky enough to eat at a Bib.
For those familiar with Michelin stars, a ‘Bib’ is a restaurant which meet’s Michelin’s standards of offering exceptional food at a reasonable price. We were lucky enough to eat at ‘Au Columbier’, to try out their Bib menu, which features a delicious 3-plate meal priced at 39.00 EUR.
Metravib also showcased the exciting features of their new software, Dyna+.
This was one of the main reasons for wanting to go to the Metravib faculty. There were plenty of great small additions, but the ‘Temporal Signals Module’ has me the most excited. For a typical DMA experiment, the displacement and forces signals are processed to calculate one data point for a specific set of parameters, like temperature, strain, and frequency. This essentially treats DMA as a black box. For some applications, this level of analysis is satisfactory; however, this level of analysis doesn’t provide you with critical information stored in the measured signals. Metravib’s new software capability, temporal signals, provides the user with the ability to access, save, and analyze the measured force and time signals during the experiment. The ‘inner-researcher’ loves this feature because it allows you to get a complete picture of what is happening to your material. For instance, with this feature, you can now plot the hysteresis loops of your material as it is dynamically strained, as is shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 shows the hysteresis loops recorded for each applied strain from a strain sweep experiment. This type of information is critical in high-strain applications when your material is in the non-linear range of deformation .
The ‘Temporal Signals module’ also works with the additional measurement channels on the DMA, which allows you to simultaneously record your DMA measurements along with other external measurements, for example, surface temperature, magnetic flux, and force. This allows your DMA to be your main data acquisition system without worrying about syncing other data acquisition systems.
This blog highlighted some of the innovations presented by Metravib during my trip, but I plan to go into more detail about these and other exciting innovations in the future. In the meantime, if you found this interesting, I recommend checking out our other DMA related blogs. If you would like to have a discussion on any of these topics, I would be happy to answer any questions directly, at email@example.com.
 K. P. Menard and N. Menard, Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2020.
About the Author
Travis obtained his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 from the University of New Brunswick. After graduation, he began his Masters, where he investigated a new method to measure cutting forces produced during machining. This research was later converted to a Ph.D. program, with a focus on identifying and adjusting for inertial effects present in force measurements used to monitor machining processes. Travis is the Metravib Product Specialist for C-Therm.