Amtrak Purchase Instron Compression Testing Machine for Locomotive Springs

Instron, a leading provider of testing equipment designed to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components, recently manufactured a compression-only 300KN machine for testing large springs used on locomotives.

Purchased by Amtrak (Wilmington, DE), this machine will be used to load test the springs, ensuring they are satisfactory to re-install during rebuild of locomotives. It is designed for spring diameters up to 13.75 in (350 mm) and loads that can reach 67,000 lbf (300 kN). Without the load tester, Amtrak would be forced to replace all of the springs with new springs from the manufacturer.

The machine features a 31” stroke actuator and test speeds up to 40 in/min (1000 mm/min). Load is measured with a 3 load cell nest to eliminate errors due to off-center loading and minimize the chance of damage due to overload.

The system is controlled by Instron’s Partner™ Spring Testing software that provides the user interface, machine control and data acquisition for fast, simple and accurate testing with the ability to plot and analyze the entire load vs. height spring characteristic.

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