A Comparison Between Material Tester and Force Tester

Toby Rogers, Director of Lloyd Instruments Materials Testing Equipment and Chatillon Force Testing Instruments

The difference between a material tester and a force tester is not always clear. This article hopes to illustrate the key differences between these important devices.

A force tester is designed to make simple force measurements within applications where the main areas of interest are extension and peak load. The force tester will generally use a force gauge as a means of measuring the load.

Material testers, on the other hand, make use of precision load cells along with either an internal or external extensometer to undertake elongation measurements. Material testers are required when using thermal chambers or testing under constant loads.

AMETEK Test & Calibration Instruments provides a comprehensive selection of Chatillon force testers alongside a full range of materials testing instruments. These force testers can be provided in digital, motorized, mechanical and pneumatic versions; with pneumatic testers being especially useful when an area requires absolute safety.

Benefits of Mechanical Force Stands

Mechanical test stands offer a cost-effective system for manual compression and tensile testing, both in the laboratory or a production environment. Testers can be fitted with a precision hand-wheel or quick-action lever for controlling travel and crosshead speed. Mechanical testers can generally accommodate a capacity of up to 2,500 N (550 lbf).

Applications of Motorized Force Testers

Motorized force testers are suitable for use in tensile, flexural, compression, peel and shear testing. They tend to have a bigger work area, meaning they are well suited to production environments or applications that require the testing of larger samples.

Users can select crosshead speed movement, and both digital and mechanical load limits can be used to control crosshead movement, for example to halt the movement of the crosshead if a specific load limit is reached.

Applications of Pneumatic Force Testers

A pneumatically-operated force tester will make use of clean, dry compressed air. These are useful in dangerous areas where electricity cannot be used, for example where there is a risk of explosions or fire. Pneumatic testers can perform compressive and tensile tests at a range of ram speeds, with common applications including the measurement of the break strength of electrical leads, connectors, terminals or wire wraps.

Features of Digital Force Testers

A digital force tester is an advanced force testing system that has been optimized for a range of quality control, engineering and production applications. These devices can be used for compression, tensile, friction, shear, flexural and complex spring testing.

Digital force testers can accommodate a rugged frame and a high performance, closed-loop motion control. They also feature intelligent load sensing systems that boast measurement accuracy of more than 0.1% full scale.

Digital force testers are generally available with force capacities of up to 5 kN (1,124 lbf). These systems are entirely self-contained and do not need additional external control in the form of software or computers.

Digital force testers can be provided with standard test setups for time limits, distance limits, load limits, rupture tests, break tests, loop tests and cycling.

Material Testers

The highest level of performance and capability is offered by material testing. Material testers are suitable for quality control, research, education, production testing and laboratory testing with force capabilities ranging from 1 kN (225 lbf) through to 300 kN (67,443 lbf).

Material testers are capable of testing for compression, flexure, tear, peel, tensile strength, shear, ductility, shear strength, insertion and a whole range of other parameters.

Material testers can be used to ascertain the mechanical and physical properties of both raw materials and components. They are especially suited for the product testing of finished goods including packaging, medical devices, plastics, metals, textiles, paper, electronic components, composites and much more.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Lloyd Instruments Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit Lloyd Instruments Ltd.

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