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LABORATORY TESTS

The Lubas production plant has a laboratory where polyurethane tests are performed. Since the company’s foundation, the Chemical Department has been taking samples for testing every day in order to confirm the properties of manufactured products.

To explain the work of the laboratory, we present the most frequently performed tests.

1. ABRASION RESISTANCE TEST

The most important and frequently performed test is the abrasion resistance test. We make sure that the specially tailored polyurethane blends meet all quality standards and that they conform to customer guidelines. These tests allow us to compare the abrasion resistance of different polyurethanes and to choose the appropriate stoichiometry of the components in order to maximise the abrasion resistance of the resulting products.

Description of the test method

The test method involves measuring the abrasive wear of a polyurethane sample that is installed on a rotating roller covered with an abrasive sheet of the required granularity. The device has an adjustable measurement path length (20 or 40 meters) and is equipped with a mechanism that rotates the sample for the duration of the test so that it is rubbed evenly across its surface, which allows for accurate measurement. Additionally, it is possible to adjust the load to the type of sample (from 2.5 N to 20 N). The result is calculated from the amount of sample mass rubbed off, taking into account the measurement path length, sample density and abrasion coefficient of the rubber model. The result is given in cubic millimeters. At Lubas, abrasion resistance tests are performed daily in quantities ranging from several to a dozen samples.

The abrasion test is performed using the Schopper-Schlobach apparatus.

Abrasion test standard DIN-53516 / ISO4649 on certified abrasive sheet.

The result is given in cubic millimeters.

2. TENSILE STRENGTH TEST

The second, equally important test, is the tensile strength test. The multi-purpose mechanical testing machine can perform tensile, compressive and tear tests.

At Lubas, several dozen tensile strength at break tests are performed daily.

During the measurement, the strain and force are measured, and a graph of the relationship of these values is created in real time. In addition, data on stress and modulus values for a given sample strain are obtained.

Description of the test method

The measurement method involves clamping the sample in the grips and stretching it at the appropriate speed until it breaks. The obtained result and graph are saved and stored in a database for confirmation of the properties of a particular product or sample. Depending on the type of sample, the appropriate test speed can be selected.

The certified machine is used for testing samples from finished products as well as for control samples confirming polyurethane quality and verifying casting machines’ readiness for work.

The machine can also be used to test the adhesion strength of polyurethane to steel for different adhesive agents.

The test is performed using the MTS Criterion machine.

The unit expressing the strength is MPa or N/mm2.

3. TEST – HARDNESS MEASUREMENT

ZWICK hardness testers are used to conduct hardness measurements. They are annually calibrated in accordance with the calibration manual and with the method consistent with the requirements of ISO standards. The laboratory can conduct polyurethane sample measurements on the Shore A, D and C hardness scale.

Description of the test method

The method involves pressing a hardness tester rod against a polyurethane sample. An indenter protruding from the base, pushed by a spring, is pressed into the material, and a balance is established between the pressure of the spring and the reaction of the material. Hardness measurements are used to inspect finished products and to confirm that the product conforms to the customer’s order.

Hardness measurement is performed using the ZWICK hardness tester.

All hardness testers are certified.

Hardness measurement is conducted according to ISO 868 standards.

4. TEST – SCHOB ELASTICITY MEASUREMENT

Description of the test method

The polyurethane elasticity test is performed with the Schob apparatus. The measurement involves striking a polyurethane sample with a weight attached to a pendulum from a specified position and reading on the apparatus’ scale the ratio of the pendulum’s deflection efficiency to its drop.

The polyurethane elasticity test is performed with the Schob apparatus.

The ratio is expressed as a percentage.

Elasticity test is performed according to PN-78 standard.

5. TEST – SURFACE RESISTANCE MEASUREMENT

Surface resistance is measured using a surface resistance meter which can perform a quick measurement and determine electrostatic properties on the surface of polyurethane samples and finished products.

Depending on the resistance value, the product is classified as a conductive, insulating or electrostatically dissipative material. The latter can be produced by applying the right amount of anti-static agent to a polyurethane blend.

The unit of measurement is Ohm.

 

 

6. POLYURETHANE ANALYSIS – POLYURETHANE IDENTIFICATION

It is an analytical method to determine from which type of polyol and isocyanate a polyurethane is made. From the obtained sample or product, an analysis can be performed to identify raw materials.

 

 

 

 

 

7. OTHER TESTS

In addition to basic tests, it is possible to perform a number of laboratory analyses to control some parameters of the raw materials used in production.

In addition, optical properties ­­­­­­­­­­can be inspected to detect defects. Tests on the performance of polyurethane in various working environments. Thermal chemical resistance is tested.

In addition, quality parameters are inspected in production. Quality control allows casting machines to be authorised for use demonstrating compatibility of raw materials and stoichiometry. Modifications are also made to polyurethane by adding special chemicals to the structure to increase resistance to abrasion and certain media. New raw materials and polyurethane systems are tested before being put into production. Using pigments, we also try to match the color of the product to the customer’s requirements. The vast majority of polyurethane blend formulas are developed by Chemical Department Technologists who have a stock of appropriate chemical additives at their disposal.

 

 

 

 

The Chemical Department supports the Development Department and participates in the introduction of castings using new methods. They select formulas to achieve specific polyurethane parameters. They get involved in innovative and technological projects by introducing new technologies to increase production efficiency and cyclicality of castings. They cooperate with universities by sending samples to universities which also conduct research on working in various conditions. They participate in various seminars, scientific conferences on plastics.

The Chemical Department is constantly growing due to being equipped with new specialised machinery and laboratory equipment and investing in specialist staff.

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