In this interview, AZoM talks to ALan Jaenecke, VP of Marketing at Taber Industries, about how to select the right wear tester.
What is a wear tester?
Abrasion tests are typically carried out to predict the wear performance of materials and to investigate the wear mechanisms that occur. While many companies hope to duplicate a wear situation seen during an intended application, the complexity of wear is such that an exact simulation is generally neither practical nor possible. A precision instrument used for wear testing allows the operator to control critical inputs such as speed; test load; stroke length and other factors. This is an integral part of reducing variation and ensuring results will be repeatable and reproducible. Taber’s Linear Abraser is one example of a wear tester that offers the versatility to simulate many different wear systems.
Why do you need to be specific with your instrument?
Many industries have developed standardized test procedures that specify the critical features of the wear tester that should be used. To ensure a higher confidence in the test results, the technician must use an instrument (and test approach) that allows them to generate data that is reliable. Therefore, emphasis needs to be placed on using a wear tester that has a rugged design. Parameters such as load, speed, rigidity of apparatus construction, alignment, and supply of abrasive require adequate control to ensure stable wear conditions.
What does the system used to test wear consist of?
The wear system includes the specimen and counter-face material, usually an abradant of some sort. Although abrasive particles may not be the primary cause of actual wear, Taber offers a variety of standardized abradants that are used to accelerate the test. This helps to reduce the total time required to generate useful data.
What are the different tests that can be performed?
Utilizing interchangeable test attachments, Taber’s Linear Abraser provides tremendous flexibility for conducting wear and abrasion tests. The standard instrument uses Taber’s ¼” diameter Wearaser®abradants for conducting surface wear tests. However the possibilities are limitless for how the instrument could be used. The following examples describe a few of the many optional accessories that are available.
- The Crockmeter Kit that allows the operator to generate “double rub” tests using a crocking cloth affixed to an acrylic rubbing finger (or rectangular crock block). Typically used to evaluate the color transfer from textile products, this approach has also been used for conducting rub wear tests on less durable materials. Modifications include using a felt pad or abrasive paper to mimic the effects of random scratching. Taber also offers special rub adaptors specified by different automotive companies to perform similar rub tests.
- Attachments are available that permit a variety of counter-face abrading materials to be used to simulate "real-world" wear testing. For example, the Universal Attachment could be used to replicate rub damage caused by shipping cartons during transport. Similarly, effects of abrasion damage caused by a scouring pad could be evaluated with the Scotchbrite® Abrasive Pad Kit. Taber also offers attachments that are used with steel wool, sandpaper, and other standardized textiles.
- For testing textile protection hoses, artificial leather and other upholstery materials the Test Wedge Kit has been used. This attachment includes a radius (R5) with two faces 90 degrees apart, to which a small piece of sandpaper is affixed and then rubbed over the specimen surface.
- To evaluate resistance to scrape abrasion of cables and wire, the Wire / Cable Scrape attachment traverses back and forth along the longitudinal axis of the wire specimen. When the abrading wire of the scrape attachment rubs through the insulation and makes contact with the conductor, the test will automatically stop.
- The Flexible Material Abrasion Kit is used to evaluate the abrasion resistance of most engineered thermoplastic films commonly used in packaging food products, sterilized medical devices and other products. This kit simulates damage caused by shock, vibration and/or repetitive rubbing that may occur during distribution and handling.
- Taber's Magnetic Stripe Abrasion Kit includes a cylindrical aluminum abrading head that is positioned vertically and traversed back and forth over the magnetic stripe of a credit card (or similar product). Signal amplitude is compared after the test with the value recorded before abrasion.
- The Test Brush Attachment has been used to evaluate wear resistance of flat automotive carpets (e.g. needle fleece carpet).
- To evaluate plastics, paints and coatings for resistance to scratch and mar, the Multi-Mar Scratch attachment is available in a 45° or 90° orientation and designed to accommodate four different styli. Alternatively, the Pencil Hardness Kit provides a rapid, economical and reliable means of evaluating film hardness of paints and coatings.
- Taber also offers interchangeable conical tungsten carbide and diamond scratch tools to conduct single pass scratch tests.
Why are these tests important?
Taber instruments play a critical role in the way companies test the durability of their products. Some of the reasons why companies want to perform these tests include:
- Determine if products comply with industry standards
- Reduce the risk of product failure & related product warranty costs
- Anticipate how a product will perform against another similar product
- Enhance their competitive advantage
- Assess functionality and appropriateness for intended use
- Carry out materials research and development
Many industries require a product to meet minimum acceptable standards. Testing provides the means to show your product meets or exceeds these requirements.
As part of quality and process control, regular testing will help ensure your manufacturing process is in control, thus avoiding product defects and costly warranty claims. Differences in performance can be identified when alternative products (or raw materials) are tested side-by-side. This type of testing can help with managing your supply chain.
Through testing, you can explore ways to differentiate your product to gain a competitive edge. The results of comparison testing may also provide data to challenge competitor claims.
Testing is also a vital component of materials research and product improvement. When used properly, it can provide useful data for ranking material attributes.
How can Taber industries help fulfill these requirements?
Throughout our company history, the Taber name has been associated with Quality and Reliability. Our objective is to provide solutions to our customers that allow them to better understand their product durability and / or material physical properties. In addition to offering precision test instruments, This may include recommendations for the appropriate instrument system; understanding evaluation techniques for interpreting results; assistance with developing a test procedure; etc.
How does Taber industries stand out from your competitors?
Taber Industries' has been a global leader for the design and manufacture of high quality, affordable test instruments since 1941. Recognized worldwide, Taber instruments continue to be the standard in many industries. We recognize the value in being an active member or participant with industry organizations that develop and publish test methods that reference Taber instruments. Plus we have partnered with many well respected independent distributors that help to promote our products worldwide. This allows us to maximize our exposure and offer expertise to those companies that require additional support.
Taber Industries also provides the opportunity for "hands-on" experiences. We offer the opportunity to visit our lab or arrange on-site training seminars at your facility so we can focus on specific issues a company may face.
What are the plans for Taber Industries moving forwards?
Taber is continually on the look-out for new product opportunities that fit with our core competencies and satisfy our customer’s needs. From a corporate standpoint, we made some recent capital equipment purchases for our machine shop, and are investing in the future by looking to increase our customer satisfaction with improved delivery times. In addition, we are in the process of modernizing our brand image and are excited to release this in the near future.
About Alan Jaenecke
Mr. Jaenecke has been employed by Taber Industries since the year 2000, and plays a critical role in the company’s Materials Test and Measurement division. Although his main responsibilities include sales and marketing, Mr. Jaenecke is Taber Industries’ technical contact for standards organizations including ASTM, ISO, NEMA, Tappi, SPE, and SAE. Through industry affiliations, he has written and developed new test methods and coordinated numerous reviews for existing methods. Having previously operated Taber’s in-house test facility, he has a wealth of experience performing wear and durability tests. Alan received his Masters of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned a dual concentration in Marketing Management and Corporate Financial Management.
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