Flexure & Compression Testing: Cereal, Potatoes, Beets
With over 1500 registered students, Harper Adams University College is the largest institution of higher learning for the agricultural sciences in the UK. In addition to education, it has a strong research focus, with scientific interests including animal nutrition, crop physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry. The university's Mechanical Testing Laboratory utilizes Instron testing equipment to perform flexure and compression testing in a number of key areas of research. Cereal buckling, the first area under investigation, is a problem for UK agriculture and can take several forms. Stem lodging occurs when the stems of cereals buckle somewhere along their length prior to harvesting, causing the plants to lie flat. Root lodging occurs when the roots give way, with the same result. Brackling is local buckling halfway along the length; and necking is where it buckles just below the ear. The weakest link differs between varieties of wheat, but they all result in yield cost. Research professors aim to quantify the flexural strength of different cereal varieties and explain why failure occurs.
Meanwhile, another important area of research is understanding how bruising of potatoes and sugar beets occurs. Bruising is a problem which can occur during harvesting, in transit, or in storage, and costs the industry millions of pounds every year in lost revenue. Compression tests are used to simulate the bruising that occurs and to identify areas in the process where improvements could be made.
Our recommended configuration for these tests is a single column Instron test system, the food fixture compression anvil with support frame and drip tray, and the pasta buckling flexure fixture. Test methods are easily created in Bluehill software, allowing the user to perform necessary calculations, compare test results, and print reports.
Bluehill 2 material testing software is the second generation of the original fully-integrated modular software package that provides easy tailored application solutions for today's laboratory managers and test technicians. In addition to the standard testing applications including tensile, compression, flexural, peel, tear and friction, Bluehill 2 has several new and unique added features.
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5900 Universal Testing Systems are engineered for precision, built for durability, and offer the flexibility for changing requirements. They are designed with standard and optional features that increase testing efficiency and improve the testing experience for the operator. A wide range of models are available for testing capacities from < 100N up to 600kN.
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