Design and demonstration of a low-cost small-scale fatigue testing machine for multi-purpose testing of materials, sensors and structures

McAlorum, Jack and Rubert, Tim and Fusiek, Grzegorz and Niewczas, Pawel and Zorzi, Giorgio (2018) Design and demonstration of a low-cost small-scale fatigue testing machine for multi-purpose testing of materials, sensors and structures. Machines, 6 (3). 30. ISSN 2075-1702

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    Abstract

    Mechanical fatigue testing of materials, prototype structures or sensors is often required prior to the deployment of these components in industrial applications. Such fatigue tests often requires the continuous long-term use of an appropriate loading machine, which can incur significant costs when outsourcing and can limit customization options. In this work, design and implementation of a low-cost small-scale machine capable of customizable fatigue experimentation on structural beams is presented. The design is thoroughly modeled using FEM software and compared to a sample experiment, demonstrating long-term endurance of the machine. This approach to fatigue testing is then evaluated against the typical cost of outsourcing in the UK, providing evidence that for long-term testing of at least 373 hours, a custom machine is the preferred option.