A spring rate tester, also called a spring rate testing machine, is a machine that is able to examine the quality or the suspension performance of springs by detecting the spring rate and other parameters of them with the testing components on the machine.
The spring rate tester is mainly used for testing the spring rates, which is how much weight that a spring affords to be compressed for a certain length, usually one inch or one kilogram depending on the system that is applied for the measurement.
In addition, with the specially designed functions, a spring rate tester can not only test for the spring rate, but also available for the measurement of tensile strength, elastic limit, stress and strain limits, stiffness and brittleness, etc.
The purpose of the measurement on the spring rates of the springs with a spring rate tester lies in how well these springs can perform when they are adopted, which can be derived from the variety of applications of them, such as car components, fitness equipment, garage doors, furniture, pumps, or watched, to name a few.
As the springs work on their applications, whether the forces or weights that these equipment give fall in the range of what the springs can withstand may influence the durability of the entire device. For example, the garage doors are supported with the dependence on the strength of the springs that are equipped inside, so that they would not suddenly fall down and cause dangers to the people or objects under them as they are opened.
Simply put, how much weight the springs can withstand determines how well they perform when they are suspended on whatever device. Therefore, the measurement of the spring rate with the assistance of a spring rate tester is a must before these springs are applied.
A spring rate tester consists of a compression plate, extensometers, spring rod sets, hook adapters, load cell sensors, and a digital display screen. For the manually operated tester, there would be additionally equipped with a lever or a hand wheel.
● Compression plate
The compression plate may be made of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, or other metals, and is used to allow the springs to be placed on it during the testing process.
The extensometers are used to measure the variation in the length of the springs, or the stress and strain testing, in order to inform the operator or the computerized system that the required compressing length on the springs is achieved.
● Spring rod sets
The spring rod sets are used to support the springs when they are tested. Considering the inside diameter, outside diameter, wire diameter of the springs, the rods are capable of holding the springs from above and under, or penetrate through the inner area of the springs.
● Hook adapters
The hook adapters help the springs be fitted on the tester in order to facilitate the smooth measurement. These adapters may come in two forms, including the swivel style and the fixed style. The former is helpful for the alignment of the springs, and the latter improve the ability of the tester to withstand heavier loads.
● Load cell sensors
The load cell sensors receive the message of the loads as the springs are compressed along with the compression plate, so as to transmit the loads as the form of spring rates and display on the screen.
● Digital display screen
Depending on the types of spring rate testers, the digital display screen on the tester may be equipped with some switches or the touch screens, which allows the operators to do the settings or control the tester.
● Lever/ hand wheel
The level or hand wheel can only be seen on the manually operated spring rate testers. The operators compress the spring manually by turning the level or hand wheel, in order to obtain the results of the tests.
Depending on the preference of the users, the spring rate testers can be operated either manually or automatically, which differentiate them into three main types, including the manual spring testers, motorized spring testers, and digital spring testers.
The variation between these three types lies in how the stress or weight is given on the springs being tested. The manual type requires the operators to turn the level or the hand wheel to provide the force. As for the latter two types, the springs on the compression plates are compressed, and the compression is suspended with the presses on the switches.
No matter what type of spring rate tester, before the tests are conducted, make sure the size or form of the rod is suitable for the spring being tested or not, or if the spring is firmly secured by the hook adapter. After one test is done, repeat the processes to confirm the most accurate result. In other words, the setting before the test and the double checking of the results can ensure the optimal accuracy of the measurements.
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