Fatigue testing laboratory - 500 million cycles and still no sign of fatigue!

No testing challenge is too long, too difficult or too small for the team at Zwick's fatigue testing laboratory in Ulm, Germany. The longest test to date lasted a full 52 days; the heaviest specimen weighed in at around 4.5 tonnes, while the smallest tipped the scales at a mere 0.2 micrograms. As well as customers from the automotive industry and medical engineering, companies from around 20 different sectors put their trust in the Zwick laboratory's expertise.

500 million cycles at a stretch; that was the duration of the longest test ever carried out in the Fatigue and Impact Testing Laboratory at Zwick's headquarters in Ulm. A high-performance concrete specimen from a technology university was tested at a frequency of 112 Hz for just under 52 days. The result was a virtually untouched concrete cube - test passed! "Our laboratory has several Vibrophores. These operate at test frequencies up to 2854 Hz and offer an ideal and efficient solution for long-term tests such as this. They are popular with many of our customers, especially those from the automotive industry," states Wolfgang Kratz, laboratory manger at Zwick.

In addition to its Vibrophores, the Zwick laboratory possesses numerous servo-hydraulic testing machines linear-drive testing machines and electro-mechanical testing actuators. "This broad spread of different types of drive is unique within the market. It allows us to provide our customers with objective advice, without being influenced by drive availability, and offer the right solution for every application," continues Kratz.

As well as possessing a varied range of testing machines, Zwick has specialized in customized test arrangements, enabling for example the 4.5-tonne axle of a railroad freight car to be tested for fatigue. But the Zwick laboratory can also strike a gentler note; quite literally in the case of a stapes prosthesis, intended for implantation into the human middle ear and weighing just 0.2 mg. This was subjected to dynamic testing for a medical engineering customer, using a linear-drive testing machine.
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