Instron debuts specimen loader for mechanical testing

Test equipment manufacturer Instron has launched a new specimen loader that it says will greatly improve mechanical testing on thin film and foil specimens.

Instron’s Precision Specimen Loader. Picture: YouTube/Instron

Instron’s Precision Specimen Loader has been designed to address the unique challenges associated with handling delicate specimens, the company said. According to Instron, the device has the potential to transform the way researchers and operators approach their work.

“Thin films and foils can pose a real challenge due to their small size and fragility,” explains Ian Kirk, product manager at Instron. “Anyone who’s handled these types of specimens knows how tough it can be to get them aligned just right in tensile grips – and if you have to reset, not only does that slow you down, but there’s also a good chance you’ll end up scrapping the specimen due to damage.

“It can be incredibly frustrating. That’s why I’m so excited about this new Precision Specimen Loader – it makes this process easier and more efficient.”

The Precision Specimen Loader has three parts: a width block that ensures the specimen lines up with the center of the jaw faces; a linear rail; and an alignment clip.

Instron said that the alignment clip is detachable and can be loaded on a workbench and, once loaded with a specimen, it snaps onto the linear rail with pins and magnets, which guides the specimen into the test space to ensure consistent and reliable test results.

Meanwhile, the alignment clip features a raised edge to aid in both visual and physical alignment of specimens – reducing the risk of misalignment and damage from having to re-grip a specimen, Instron said.

The alignment clip also features rubber pads that hold the specimen in place outside of the test space in order to preserve the quality and integrity of the test materials.

Instron said the device is suitable for ambient testing only, and it complies with applicable standards for films (ASTM D882 and ISO 527-3) and foils (ASTM E345-16, EN 546-2, and DIN 50154).