Destructive testing is a powerful tool which can tell us a lot about the properties of materials. However, testing has to be done correctly. Potentially hazardous airborne particles, such as fiberglass shards or metal fragments, can result from these tests.
The Design, Fabrication and Testing team made a customized testing chamber that allows tensile, fatigue and compressive tests to be safely performed and observed.
“The chamber itself contains the larger projectiles which may develop from the breaking of a sample. The dust-collection system collects any microscopic particles that are too small to see,” said project lead Emily Swan. “The chamber is made from a clear polycarbonate and is large enough to accommodate a variety of testing fixtures and equipment. The design also ensures that there is minimal impact on the testing results.”
SAIT researchers use the testing chamber in their work developing new technologies with industry partners. Swan also sees it as a learning tool for students in SAIT’s schools of Construction, Transportation, and Manufacturing and Automation.
“We test a variety of materials including plastic, fiberglass and metal,” explained Swan. “Students would be able to see the materials they study and use on a daily basis undergo a variety of tests, which would enhance their understanding of how these materials perform.”
The testing chamber is currently being used to test new composites for unmanned aerial vehicles.