VectorPro Operating Manual - Designing a Test MT Version

Manual
431-955

1 Designing a Test (VectorPro MT Version)

Front Cover

Mecmesin Logo

431-955

February 2020

2 Introduction

VectorPro™VectorPro™ MT and VectorPro™ Lite are all registered trademarks of Mecmesin Ltd.

VectorPro is a dedicated software solution used for the programming and acquisition of data from a range of Mecmesin test stands and instruments.

2.1 User Guidance

This user manual section covers designing a test for VectorPro MT compatible instruments only, for further guidance relating to other aspects of VectorPro please refer to one of the documents listed below.

​Please Note: It is recommended to work through all available user manuals, starting at the top of the list below and finishing at the bottom. Where necessary skip user manuals that do not apply to your test stand. For more information relating to test stand device groups please refer to the 'Device Groups' section located in the Introduction and Initial Setup User Manual.
Important! Is it advised that this introductory document is read in full before continuing to other user manuals.

2.1.1 VectorPro™ User Manuals

Click one of the links below to navigate to the applicable user manual.  

 VectorPro Logo  

Introduction and Initial Setup

Covers the initial setup and installation of VectorPro, as well as the basics of the software functionality and user manuals.

Workspace and User Management

Runs through the functionality of the VectorPro Workspace, as well as admin tasks such as User Management and the Event Viewer.

VectorPro Default Workspace
 Materials Test Stands  

Designing a Test MT Version (Current Document)

A detailed guide to designing a test for VectorPro MT compliant test systems.

Designing a Test Lite Version

Covers designing a test for VectorPro Lite compliant test stands and devices

VectorPro Lite Compatible Test Stands
All Tests and Results Viewer

All Tests Viewer and Results Viewer

A guide explaining the functionality of the All Tests Viewer and Results Viewer.

Running a Test, Reporting and Exporting

How to run a test in VectorPro, as well as user guidance covering the Reporting and Exporting of data from VectorPro.

Example Report
SDC Tile

System Deflection Compensation MT Systems Only

Cover configuring System Deflection Compensation (SDC) within VectorPro. SDC is only available with MT compliant test systems.

Software License Agreement

View the latest version of the Mecmesin VectorPro Software License Agreement.

Software License Agreement

Table of Contents

3 Getting Started

New Test Tile

3.1 Test Names and Versions

Click the ‘New Test’ tile to configure a new test. The ‘New Test’ screen, pictured above, is displayed onscreen. VectorPro MT test stands are listed under the OmniTest tab. Within this tab select the desired test system or model.

Please Note: The test will then only run on the selected system or instrument. To continue, enter a test name, select an instrument and press 'OK'.

 Select an Instrument

 The ‘New Test’ selection screen, select which instrument is used.

Please Note: For MultiTest-dV test systems with switching enabled be sure to select dV(u) for ELS and extensometer support and MultiTest-dV for standard tests using an AFG force gauge.

The screen shown below will be displayed, enabling the selection of Tension, Compression, or 3-Point bend test modes. Press 'OK' to continue.

 Select VectorPro MT Test Type

The ‘New Test’ selection screen, select which test type you are using.

Test Designer Settings Tab

A new test contains a series of settings tabs; Attribute configuration, Specimen definition, a sequential Operations, Result calculations, an optional editable Report layout and Permissions specific to this test.

4 Attributes

Attributes extend the information about a test. Some are reserved by default and others are customisable. The ‘System’ attribute, for example, is not editable and is available in results and reports to indicate the test system used for the test. When a new test is first created, two attributes are automatically added. ‘Test Name’ entered from the new test screen and a blank ‘Test Notes’ attribute.

Attributes can be added to store notes, labels or attach images to the test. Attributes can be configured to prompt for input value before or after the test.

Custom Attribute Types

Icons for a ‘Label’, ‘Note’ and an ‘Image’ attribute.

4.1 Test Name

Default attribute

Names the test routine and all versions. This attribute can be edited but is in all versions of the test, not just subsequent versions.

Please Note: Test names must be unique.

4.2 Test Notes

Default attribute

Applies to this test version, and is inherited by subsequent versions until amended again.

4.3 Add New and Existing Custom Attributes

Once an attribute has been used in VectorPro, it is incorporated into the database and becomes available to all tests under the existing attribute section. An attribute must have a unique name and can be a ‘label’ (up to 30 characters), a ‘note’ (up to 300 characters) or an 'image'.

Please Note: Once a test has been assigned with an attribute it cannot be removed from the test altogether, only from a version of that test. The overall test will always remain associated with the attribute.

Configuring Custom Attributes

Icons for a ‘Label’, ‘Note’ and an ‘Image’ attribute.

Image attributes allow the insertion of an image file, which may be browsed for, or captured on a webcam. The first image to be assigned appears as the ‘Workspace’ icon for this test (attributes for a test, once assigned, cannot be rearranged).

Image and note attributes also have a ‘Prompt for Value’ setting. Options available are:

  • None: No action is prompted before or after the test, fixed image or note can be entered here,
  • Before Test: The user is prompted for an image file or note before the test,
  • After Test: The user is prompted for an image file or note after the test,
Please Note: Attributes can be minimised by clicking on the header at the top of each individual attribute.

4.4 Prompt for Value Feature

Within VectorPro, attributes can be configured to prompt for input value before or after the test is run.

This can be applied to a note, label or image attribute which enables the test to prompt the user for input before or after testing. These labels are then saved to the relevant result file. This is shown below whereby a ‘Batch ID’ label has been set up with a before test prompt and a ‘Lab Temperature’ label has been set up with an after test prompt.

In the example screenshot below when editing or creating a test, the image and note attributes have the option to configure ‘before’ or ‘after’ test options. For example, this can be useful for logging important notes or for adding pictures of the specimen pre-test and post-test.

Attributes with Prompt for Value Enabled

This image shows the ‘prompt for’ settings highlighted by the red circle.​

4.4.1 Prompt for Value – Flag Definitions

Prompt for Value attributes carry flag markers to give easy visual identification to whether they are before or after the test values. These markers are visible in the ‘Results’ tab when both within the ‘Test Designer’ and the ‘Results Viewer’.

Prompt For Value Flags

A diagram displaying the new flag markers. The left-hand icons are the markers within the ‘Results’ design page and the right hand are within the ‘Results Viewer'. Before test flags are highlighted in blue and after test flags are highlighted in green.

4.4.2 Prompt for Value - Predefined List

Label attributes using the ‘Prompt for Value’ feature can be set up with a predefined list. For example, these lists could be used to state batch numbers or the colours of the test specimens.

To use the predefined list feature the user must first create a new label attribute, then select the ‘Predefined List of Values’ option to display the input table. Enter the values by pressing ‘Add’ and remove unwanted values by pressing ‘Remove’.

Configuring a Predefined List

In the example shown both above and below a label attribute called ‘Batch Number’ is configured within the test designer with ‘Before Test’ selected and a predefined list of batch numbers entered.

Prompt For Value Before Test List

Upon starting the test, the ‘Prompt for Value – Before Test’ window appears. Entry input is available, for any attributes that have been configured to prompt before the test is run.

4.5 Grouping Attributes - Creating Test Folders

Grouped Test Folders Tiles

Grouped attribute tile.

Within VectorPro it is possible to assign the same attribute to several tests so it can be used as a filter to group tests together on the main ‘Workspace’ screen.

This allows for easy grouping of tests based on a common image, note or label. These tests are then grouped into a brown tile like the one pictured above. The following pages detail how to achieve this.

Using Attributes to Link Tests

Within the relevant test, place the desired attribute. For example, in the screen above an attribute called ‘Lab Notes’ is being used by the operator to describe the test being executed. Previously used attributes can be found in the ‘Existing Attributes’ section (highlighted in red).

Editing Attribute Permission

Editing the attribute permissions.

Next, exit the test being edited and click on the ‘Permissions Tile’ located on the far left of the home ‘Workspace’. From here drag-and-drop the relevant user into the specified attribute tile (See the image above). 

Attribute tiles are located at the bottom of the ‘Permissions’ screen, below the test system tiles. Use the filter toolbar to show only attributes.  In this example above, ‘admin’ has been given rights to see all tests using the ‘Lab Notes’ attribute.

Workspace with Grouped Attributes

Now the attribute group is present in the home ‘Workspace’ for the admin user to see. For users running a large number of projects, test definitions can be organised into groups only, removing individual test tiles. Therefore helping to organise the screen to maximise the efficiency of the ‘Workspace’.

Removing Permission

To achieve this, click edit on the test required to be made invisible, then navigate to the permissions tab and remove the relevant user from the ‘Workspace’ attribute. In this case, as the admin wishes to hide the test, this user is removed from the ‘Workspace’ tile by simply dragging and dropping the user into the trash, as pictured above.

In the second image below, the test files are only visible within the ‘Lab Notes’ attribute group. In this scenario, the workspace rights for admin have been removed from all test files but as the tests contain the ‘Lab Notes’ attribute (which admin has permission for) the tests appear as an organised folder instead of individual tiles.

Comparing an Organised Workspace

Two workspaces using the same database, the lower has used permissions grouping for each individual test to create a subfolder with all the tests in.

4.6 Searching Within Attribute Groups

Within VectorPro the user can search within the created ‘Attribute Groups’. To access this feature click on a brown group tile that is either linked by a note or label attribute to open the window pictured below (search is unavailable on groups linked by image attributes).

Here, all the tests which contain the ‘Lab Notes’ attribute can be seen. The user can then search using the bar at the top of the window as well as using filters for prompt for value settings (None/Before Test/After Test). When entering a search term the user is presented with three additional options for narrowing the search:

  • Both: Search both the attribute value and the test name.
  • Attribute Value: Search only the value entered into the attribute.
  • Test Name: Search only the name of the test which contains the selected attribute.

Attribute Search Window

Once a test attribute value is selected, the user is presented with the following options at the bottom of the window:

  • All: Will show the selected attributes test within the ‘All Tests’ viewer. This is to explore the test settings, operations, results and versioning.
  • Results: Displays the selected attributes test within the ‘Results’ viewer. Users can view and delete the test results here as well as being able to compare different tests and versions.
  • Edit: This opens the selected test in the test designer screen.
  • Execute: Clicking ‘Execute’ loads the operation sequence to the test system and opens the test display screen.
  • Close: Closes the window.

5 Specimen

The ‘'Specimen’ screen is used to define physical dimensions of the specimen, configure the extensometer and configure break settings. 

The ‘Specimen’ screen is where specimen geometry and dimensions can be defined. These physical dimensions are used to derive stress and strain calculations.

Other options within this screen, allow the user to:

  • Name the specimen being used
  • Select whether or not an extensometer is being used and which type (Anlogue or Digital)
  • Define the displacement units
  • Set ‘Pre-Test’ preload (load a sample before a test timeline operation sequence is commenced
  • Configure break detection
  • Toggle whether to ‘Prompt for Specimen’ value before starting the test
  • Specify if the 'Toe Correction' setting is enabled. 

Enabling ‘Prompt for Specimen’ presents the screen pictured below before the test starts. Here the user can measure and enter individual dimensions for the specimen under test.

Prompt for Specimen Window

The extensometer settings are displayed in the top right of the prompt for specimen window.

Please Note: If prompt for value is not used the dimensions entered on this screen are applied to all specimens for that test.

5.1 Specimen Shape Definitions

There are eight distinct shapes that can be selected to define the specimens dimensioning, below is a visual guide to explain these.

Icon

Shape Definition

Quadrilateral Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of quadrilateral specimens. Set the Width (w) and Thickness (t) of the specimen, as well as the gauge length.
Circular Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of circular specimens. Set the diameter (d) and the gauge length.
Elliptical Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of elliptical specimens. Enter parameters (a), (b) and the gauge length to define the specimen.
Hollow Circular Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of hollow circular specimens. Set the internal (d0) and external diameter (d1) as well as the gauge length to define the specimen.
Hollow Elliptical Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of hollow elliptical specimens. Set the internal and external dimensions as well as the gauge length to define the specimen.
Custom Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of custom specimens. Set the cross-sectional area and the gauge length of the shape.
3-Point Bend Quadrilateral Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of quadrilateral specimens in a 3-point bend test. Set the width (b) and height of the specimen (h), as well as the length of the specimen between the supports (l).
3-Point Bend Circular Specimens This is for setting the dimensions of circular specimens in a 3-point bend test. Set the diameter of the specimen (d) and the length of the specimen between the supports (l).

5.2 Configuring an Extensometer

OmniTest and MultiTest-dV(u) test systems can use Mecmesin external extensometer devices such as the LTE-700, 1000 or 1200.

These enable accurate measurement of specimen strain performance directly on the specimen between two contact points. This is crucial for calculating Young's modulus (MOE) or strain until a yield point.

To use an extensometer with either an OmniTest or MultiTest-dV(u) test system, plug the Mecmesin extensometer into the test system and then switch the ‘Extensometer’ switch to ‘ON’.

For LTE-700, 1000 and 1200 (Long Travel Extensometer) devices, use ‘Enable’ extensometer only.

For Mecmesin supplied short axial contacting extensometer/deflectometer select ‘Enable’ and ‘Analogue’.

Within the ‘Settings’ panel, the user can select the units used when entering the specimen dimensions.

Extensometer Settings Menu

5.3 Configuring Break Settings

Break settings for the test can be configured on the right-hand settings panel. These options enable configuration of the settings to determine when a break condition is detected:

  • Threshold: This is the percentage of the load cells capacity that the load value must be above for a break event to be detected. 

For example, if set to 5% on a 1000N load cell the load reading would have to be above 50N for a break condition to be detected.

  • Drop: This is the percentage the reading must drop from the last max value for a break condition to be detected. 

For example, if set to 90% a specimen pulled to 100N would need to exhibit a sharp drop from 100N to 10N for a break condition to be detected.

See section 'Break Definition' for information concerning break calculations

Configuring Break Settings

5.4 Configuring Pre-test Preload

Pre-test preload allows the application of a specified force to the specimen prior to commencing the main operation sequence.

The available settings are ‘On/Off’ and the desired load value

Configuring Pre-test Preload

5.5 Configuring Toe Correction

'Toe Correction' is a post-test method of compensating a specimen that experiences the effects of 'slack' at the beginning of a test. Slack is defined as any artifact caused by seating or alignment of a specimen, when first loaded. This is not related to any characterisic or property belonging to specimen itself. Some test standards such as ASTM refer to this as 'Toe Region'. Others define use of toe correction to determine a 'zero-deformation point' from which calculations or results are referenced. The correction is sympathetic to the samples mechanical properties and is calculated from the specimen's stiffness (Stress vs Strain).

The available settings are ‘On/Off’ and 'Use User Defined'.

Use User Definded = Off:      Toe correction applied automatically

Use User Defined = On:         User defined manual Toe correction post-test 

See Toe Correction operation for more details. XXXXX

5.6 Grip Separation

Grip separation is used in VectorPro to derive strain when an extensometer device isn’t connected. This also includes tests where the extensometer is being removed before the end of the test.

Within the specimen screen the ‘Gauge Length’ field is used to populate the grip separation for the start of the test. This value is used to measure strain derived from the internal machine displacement.

In tests where an extensometer is being used the following is true (Also applies when the extensometer is being fitted during the test):

  • The gauge length field should be populated with the gauge length of the extensometer.

Configure Grip Separation

In the example above an extensometer with a gauge length of 50 mm is being used.

In tests where grip separation is being used from the start of the test the following is true:

  • The gauge length field should be populated with the starting grip separation, with the test sample loaded.

Configure Grip Separation for Strain

In the example above grip separation is being used to derive strain. The starting separation is 65.72 mm.

5.6.1 Notation - Nominal Strain

When an extensometer cannot be used, or it is required that it be removed after a specimen has yielded, there is provision (in certain test standards) to use the machine displacement as the strain source.

For example, ISO 527-1 Tensile Plastics test standard recommends the use of an extensometer until specimen yield and then removal of the device. Subsequent strain readings are then sourced from the machine’s internal displacement. This method produces “Nominal Strain”. This is advantageous if the gauge length of the extensometer does not cover the expected elongation range of the specimen, or if a sample necking region occurs outside of the fixed gauge length.

To incorporate this type of strain measurement, VectorPro allows the use of a specimen entry called “Grip Separation”. This is the distance between the contact face of the opposing jaw faces in each grip and is usually measured manually following a pre-stress or load to the specimen.

Grip Separation is either used to calculate all strain measurements if no extensometer is used or it is used in combination with extensometer strain readings (based on the device’s gauge length) recorded to an agreed point (usually just beyond a yield). This is followed by a pause and removal of the extensometer. Strain from this point is based upon the grip separation entered.

The combined strain results following removal of an extensometer are “Nominal Strain” values.

5.6.2 Configuring a Test

For example test configurations, please refer to the following section 'Enter Grip Separation'.

6 Operations

6.1 Operation Definitions

The ‘Operations’ screen allows the definition and configuration of physical stages that are completed during the test. The system works using drag-and-drop actions, to move operations from the left-hand side panel into the timeline. These commands can be edited to enable a vast array of test methods.

Within the operations there are four main categories, these are Common, Relative, Target and Pause.

6.1.1 Common

These are operations that are not dependent on crosshead position or test type and function the same in all tests.

Please Note: Only operations applicable to the selected test type are viewable within the test designer.

Icon

Action

Settings

Tensile Pre-load Operation

 

Appy a pre-load to the specimen in tension.

 

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Preload Force
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Compressive Pre-load Operation

 

Apply a pre-load to the specimen in compression.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Preload Force
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Move to Home Operation

 

Move the crosshead back to the start position or set home position.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation

Tare the Load Value Operation

 

Tare the load value.

  • None

Tare Displacement Operation

 

Tare the displacement value from both the ballscrew and tacho encoders, plus the extensometer or deflectometer

  • None

Tare Extensometer Operation

 

Tare the extensometer value only.

  • None

Tare all Values Operation

 

Tare all values. (Load, displacements and extensometer value).

  • None

Pull to Break Operation

 

Pull the specimen at a constant speed until a break condition is detected.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Speed

Compress Until Break Operation

 

Apply a compressive force to the specimen at a constant speed until a break condition is detected.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Speed

3-Point Bend Compress Until Break Operation

 

Apply a flexural compressive force to the specimen at a constant speed until a break condition is detected.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Speed

Constant Load Rate Pull Until Break Operation

 

Pull the specimen at a constant load rate until a break condition is detected.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load rate

Constant Load Rate Compress Until Break Operation

 

Apply a compressive force to the specimen at a constant load rate until a break condition is detected.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load rate

6.1.2 Load Rate Operations

Please note in some instances such as when testing a material which exhibits sudden changes in stiffness it is possible for the system to ‘resonate’ against the specimen, especially if the material has a high tensile strength. In these instances, the system should be stopped immediately and use of or values of load rate control reviewed. Continuous use can lead to damage to the test system or operator.

6.1.3 Relative

These are operations that are based on current channel values. For example, if the crosshead is at 40mm displacement and an operation to move up 10mm is run, the final position is 50mm.

Icon

Action

Settings

Move Crosshead Down Operation

 

Move the crosshead down at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

 

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Displacement
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Move Crosshead Up Operation

 

Move the crosshead up at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Displacement
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Increase Load Operation

 

Increase the load on the specimen at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Decrease Load Operation

 

Decrease the load on the specimen at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

6.1.4 Target

These are operations that are based on the last tared (zero) channel values. For example, if the system is at 150mm displacement a target of 100mm is run, the system will move down 50mm to place the crosshead 100mm from the last tared zero.

Icon

Action

Settings

Target Load Operation

Move to a load value at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Target Displacement Operation

Move to a crosshead position at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Displacement
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Target Strain Operation

Move to a strain value at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Strain
  • Hold Time
  • Speed

Target Stress Operation

Move to a stress value at a constant speed, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Stress
  • Hold Time
  • Speed
Target Load Constant Rate Operation

Move to a target load at a constant load rate, with optional hold time.

  • Data Acquisition
  • Prompt For Operation
  • Load rate
  • Load
  • Hold Time

6.1.5 Pause

These operations pause the test. For example, a pause operation can be used to allow extensometry devices to be fitted after preloading or to remove an extensometer before a specimen breaks, preventing the equipment from becoming damaged.

Icon

Action

Settings

Pause Message Operation

 

Pause the test and display a user-defined message.

  • Customise On Screen Message

Remove Extensometer Pause Operation

Pause the test to allow the extensometer to be removed, by default the displacement source is then swapped to the test stand encoder.

  • Customise On Screen Message

Pause Test for Grip Separation Operation

Pause the test to enter grip the separation.

  • Customise On Screen Message

6.1.6 Pause Operation 

Pause Operation Message Close Up

The pause operation in VectorPro stops the test stands movement and display a popup text message when the operation is reached in the test timeline. The text displayed can be set by editing the operation settings in the test timeline. In the example above the message prompts the user to fit an extensometer. To continue the test the user must press the play button on the front panel of the test stand.

6.1.7 Remove Extensometer (Pause Operation)

Remove Extensometer Pause Message Close Up

This operation allows the extensometer to be removed during the test, before a break condition. This is crucial if the elongation range of the specimen is higher than the device’s measurement range, for a test method requirement, or for the preservation of extensometers when high energy break test specimens are measured.

In a typical situation, the specimen is pulled to just past the linear section of its elastic region or to a point where an offset yield can be measured, before removing the extensometer.

The text displayed can be customised by editing the operation’s individual settings in the test timeline. In the example above the default message is used, this prompts the user to remove the extensometer.

To continue the test the user must press the play button displayed on the front panel of the test stand.

6.1.8 Important Information

Upon removing the extensometer strain measurement for the test is swapped to use the test stand encoder.

Please note that as the test stops the specimen can ‘relax’ this will cause a visible drop on the graph (see the circled image below).

Specimen Relaxing Close Up
Specimen Relaxing Close Up

For more information relating to configuring a test that allows an extensometer to be removed please see the following section 'Example Grip Separation Test - With Extensometer'.

6.1.9 Enter Grip Separation (Pause Operation)

Enter Grip Separation Pause Operation
Enter Grip Separation Pause Operation

This operation is designed for tests where an extensometer is not being used or is being removed during the test. It allows the current grip separation to be entered. In most applications, this operation is used after the sample has been pre-loaded.

The next sections cover how to use grip separation with and without an extensometer, it is recommended to read the VectorPro - Running a Test, Reporting and Exporting User Manual.

6.1.10 Example Grip Separation Test – Without Extensometer

When deriving strain from grip separation in a test with no extensometer fitted, it is important to first enter the distance between the upper and lower grip face into the section labelled ‘Gauge Length’, as shown in the image above. This is found under the ‘Specimen’ tab, see section 'Specimen'. The value entered here automatically populates the grip separation section, labelled ‘GS’, with the same value. This distance could be measured before a test-run or with the sample fitted following a suitable preload.

Next, navigate to the ‘Operations’ tab and configure a suitable preload stage for the test sample, see operation 1 above,

Immediately after the pre-load stage place an ‘Enter Grip Separation Pause’ operation’, followed by a ‘Tare Displacement’ operation, as seen in operations 2 and 3 above.

The timeline operations as followed sample pre-loaded to 5N, the test (operation 2), allowing the operator to measure and enter the grip separation. This method ensures any machine compliance (movement of grips or load cell) is minimised.

This grip separation value is then used to record the strain for the test, derived from the value entered in step 1.

In this example, the displacement channel (used to derive the specimen strain) is then tared by operation 3.

At operation 4 the sample is pulled in tension until break.

Next, configure any attributes, results, reports and permissions within the test designer and save the test.

To run the test click the appropriate icon located on the workspace. Load the sample into the test stand. Next, zero the stand and set the home position with a sample loaded, see section 'Control Bar' located in the Running a Test, Reporting and Exporting User Manual for more information.

To start the test press the play button located at the top right of the screen.

After the pre-load stage, the onscreen pop-up shown in the image above appears. The grip separation should be measured and entered it into the box highlighted above, once ready press the ‘Accept’ button onscreen.

Press the 'play' button located on the front panel of the test stand to continue.

The test will run until completion. Only if it is safe to do so, press the ‘home’ button on the front panel of the test stand to return to the loading position set in step 7.

Please Note: If a sample under test has yielded and entered its elastic region or has visibly ‘necked’, then use of automatic ‘Home’ position as a timeline operation is not recommended. 

It is not a requirement to use the ‘Enter Grip Separation Pause’ for tests using grip separation as the feedback for strain. The specimen gauge length entry initially entered, will supply the required value to calculate test strain but the method above can potentially provide more accurate results.

If using the gauge length from the specimen screen as the strain source, it is crucial that the sample and grip setup has no measurable deflection errors before starting the test. The grip separation at the beginning of the test matches the value entered in the specimen tab.

6.1.11 Example Grip Separation Test – With Extensometer

For tests where grip separation is being used to derive nominal strain after an extensometer has been removed, use of both the ‘Enter Grip Separation Pause’ and ‘Remove Extensometer Pause’ operations is required.

Extensometers may be removed to protect the device when testing samples that fail with high elastic energy or fracture violently, or if the elongation range of the specimen is higher than the device’s measurement range. Below is an example showing one possible test configuration:

It is important that the initial gauge length of the extensometer device is entered in the ‘Specimen’ tab of the test designer, as shown in the image above.

Next, configure in the right-hand panel of the ‘Specimen’ screen whether a digital (long travel) or analogue (short travel) extensometer is being used, for more information please see section 'Configuring an Extensometer'.

 

Navigate to the ‘Operations’ tab and configure a suitable preload stage for the test sample. See operation 1 above.

Immediately after the pre-load stage place an ‘Enter Grip Separation Pause Operation’, followed by a ‘Tare Displacement’ operation. See Operations 2 and 3.

In this example Operation 4 is a strain target (It is also possible to use a load or displacement target). This target should be past the materials linear elastic region and offset yield and ideally, before its maximum load/stress and safely before the sample’s failure point.

Operation 5 is a ‘Remove Extensometer Pause’ operation; this enables the extensometer to be removed. Specimen strain from grip separation. The test ends with a pull to operation (Operation 6).

Next, configure any attributes, results, reports and permissions within the test designer and save the test.

To run the test click the appropriate icon located on the workspace. Load the sample into the test stand. Next, zero the stand and set the home position with sample loaded, see section 'Control Bar' located in the Running a Test, Reporting and Exporting User Manual for more information.

Press the 'play' button located at the top right of the screen.

After the pre-load stage, the onscreen pop-up shown in the image above appears. The grip separation should be measured and entered it into the box highlighted above, once ready press the accept button onscreen.

At this point fit the extensometer to the sample. Once ready press the accept button onscreen.

Press the 'play' button located on the front panel of the test stand to continue.

 

In this example from operation 4 the test runs until 3% strain is reached and pause. At this point the image above is shown, to continue safely remove the extensometer and press the play button located on the front of the test stand.

The test will then run until completion. If it is safe to do so press the home button on the front panel of the test stand to return to the loading position set in step 8.

6.1.11.1 Important Information
Specimen Relaxing Close Up
Specimen Relaxing Close Up

Upon removing the extensometer, strain measurement for the test is swapped to use the test stand internal displacement. Please note that as the test stops the specimen can ‘relax’ this will cause a visible drop in the graph (see the circled image above).

Elastic specimens will typically have a larger drop, taking longer to remove the extensometer and grips with high system deflection may also increase the size of the drop.

6.1.11.2 Further Information        

For more information regarding grip separation, nominal strain and the removal of extensometer devices it is recommended to read the following section 'Grip Separation'.

6.2 Toe Correction Operation

When toe correction has been enabled in the specimen screen, the choice of 'Use User Defined' being ‘On/Off’ affects the following VectorPro operations:

6.2.1 User User Defined 'Off'

When set to 'Off' the software uses an automatic Toe Correction operation post-test.

When the test sequence has ended, the screen above will be shown for 'Automatic Correction' and contain s the following information or functions:

  • The value of the 'Offset' in percentage strain is displayed in the middle at the top of the screen. This is the value of strain (x axis) correction that has been applied
  • Two traces are shown on the screen above. The white trace marked as 'Offset' is the original test plotted without compesnation. The yellow trace marked 'Corrected' shows the new compensated trace
  • The Zoom and resize tools can be used on the left-hand-side  

The automatic calculation cannot be changed and the user must select 'Accept' button to acknowledge the calculation, apply the correction and close ths screen.

Any results that refer to the strain axis directly, or that use strain values to calculate results are automatically corrected by the offset value.

When viewing the Strain axis on-screen, the toe correction offset will be visibly applied and the corrected trace will be seen.

6.2.2 User User Defined 'On'

When set to 'On' the software uses a two-part Toe Correction operation post-test.

The user will be requested to select two points for which a cord line will be drawn between. This will determine a slope and ultimately the toe correction offset value and line which intercepts the strain axis.

The first point is a lower value of stress (y axis).

The second point is a higher value of stress (y axis).

Once the second point (higher value of stress), the display will automatically switch to show the manually calculated screen, which contans the following information or functions:

  • The value of 'Offset' calculated from the manually selected data points, shown in upper-middle screen.
  • Two traces are shown on the screen above. The white trace marked as 'Offset' is the original test plotted without compesnation. The yellow trace marked 'Corrected' shows the new compensated trace
  • The Zoom and resize tools can be used on the left-hand-side  
  • The right-hand trash-can icon will clear any currently selected points and return to prompt for first point selection
  • The right-hand middle icon will apply an automatic calculation as shown previously (this will overwrite and manually selected points)
  • The lower right-and icon will apply the manual calculation point 1 selection (will clear automatic calculation or clear previously manual selected points

Once the user has completed the selection points, pressing the 'Accept' button will apply the toe correction and close ths screen.

Any results that refer to the strain axis directly, or that use strain values to calculate results are automatically corrected by the offset value.

When viewing the Strain axis on-screen, the toe correction offset will be visibly applied and the corrected trace will be seen.

6.3 Vector Cloud Solutions

 

Icon(s)

Action

Settings

Toolbox icon

Timeline icon

 

Insert/Action a Vector Cloud Solutions operation.

  • None

 

If you require an operation or sequence of operations that cannot be accommodated by the standard operation set provided in VectorPro then it may be that Mecmesin can provide a VCS operation to achieve what you need.  Contact your Mecmesin representative to find out more.

Vector Cloud Solutions is a service provided by Mecmesin where custom operations can be created and uploaded to the Vector Cloud for retrieval by the operator. 

In order to take advantage of the test operation opportunities made available by VCS operations, you must sign up for an account with the Vector Cloud.  This is easy and requires only your name and email address.

 

6.3.1 Signing Up for a Vector Cloud Solutions Account

The first time you click on the Vector Cloud Solutions icon on the Timeline toolbox you will be prompted to log into your account.  If you do not already have a VCS account then you can sign up straight away.  Simply click on the "add user" icon and you will be prompted with the following popup.

 

 

Enter your name and email address and provide a password (using at least one each of upper case, lower case, numeric and special characters).  Once you have entered this information you will see the Validate popup

 

 

You will also receive an email with a six digit validation code.  Enter the verification code in the popup and accept.  You are now ready to log into your account.

 

Signing into your Vector Cloud Account

If you have previously signed up for an account with VCS, you can log in by entering your email address and password. 

 

Successful login will result in the VCS window being shown.  The contents of the library will vary depending on what the user has access to.  The operations shown here are examples only.

The VCS Operations workspace has two tabs:  All and Library.  "Library" operations are those that have been created to be available to all users of VCS.  "All" operations are those that have been created for specific customers and can only be accessed by them.