Borealis is using two two table-top testing machines from Zwick that it says is enabling the automated quality control of the plastics produced at its facility in Schwechat, Austria, one of the biggest production sites in Europe.
The facility, which has an annual capacity for polyolefin production, including both polypropylene and polyethylene, of around one million tonnes, uses two Zwick Allround-Line table-top testing machines for automated quality control of its plastics.
Automated tensile tests with nominal forces of 5 and 10kN are carried out in accordance with standards including ISO 527, with automated flexure tests to ISO 178, with specimens tested covering a wide range of dimensions.
One of the testing machines is equipped with a makroXtens extensometer. Zwick explains this contact-type extensometer is designed for tensile, compression, flexure and cyclic tests in manual and automated testing systems. Fine-strain measurement for determination of Young’s modulus is also possible, involving a strain range between 0.05 and 0.25 percent. Pneumatic grips developed by Zwick are used to hold the specimens, with the required gripping force generated via a pneumatic actuator, which, depending on size, acts either directly on the jaws or via a lever-system.
The second testing machine is fitted with a motorised flexure table for three and four-point flexure loads, plus a digital flexure transducer. This measures deflection directly under the specimen in accordance with ISO 178, ASTM D 790 and ISO 14125.
To obtain a higher magazine capacity (> 400 specimens), the specimens are stacked, handled via a Kuka KR5 robot. A special feature of this system, says Zwick, is the combined vacuum and pincer gripper; the vacuum function is used to remove specimens from the stack and the pincer function to provide a force-locked grip on the specimen (remains). The entire system is controlled via an industrial controller using Zwick’s autoEdition2 automation software for plastics.
As well as those at its Schwechat site, Borealis employs additional Zwick testing machines for its research activities in Lintz, including an identical second automated testing system.