SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

A Fracture Mechanics Test Automation System for a Basic Research Laboratory


Successful selection of a material test automation strategy, hardware, and software depends on careful evaluation of the requirements of the target laboratory. Some of the criteria include the type of testing (single event, continuous), the laboratory mission (basic research, production testing, quality assurance), the operator's level of understanding of the testing and automation system, the available laboratory space, and the financial constraints. This paper discusses automation strategy, hardware, and software that have been used to automate a basic research laboratory performing fatigue crack propagation testing under a variety of test conditions including elevated temperatures.

A microcomputer and smart peripheral equipment are used as a hardware platform to perform real-time test control. The material analysis and test environment (MATE) software has been developed in-house to satisfy a broad range of current and future requirements. MATE is discussed in terms of its ability to meet the criteria set forth for the laboratory both for real-time automated test control and for quasi-real-time analysis of the data as the test proceeds. The software is designed to provide maximum flexibility as demanded by the basic research mission of the laboratory. The software presents a logical graphical operator interface to the user that is suitable for use by the technical and scientific staff.

Author Information

Hartman, GA
University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH
Ashbaugh, NE
University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 95–110
DOI: 10.1520/STP25033S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5149-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1401-2