Developing a load acquisition system for a multiaxial test frame

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Engineering


Material testing has traditionally been completed by using a uniaxial load frame which isolates a single stress component. Engineers however, design components for applications in a multi-axial world to withstand stress in multiple directions. The In-Plane Loader (IPL) at Montana State University expands the realm of material testing to three degrees of freedom within a two-dimensional plane. Applications of the IPL include composite material testing and experimental validation of constitutive models in multiple axes. The multi-axial test frame has been in place at MSU for several years. One of the primary challenges associated with the IPL is its ability to accurately measure multi-axial load components. The purpose of this work was to develop and validate an updated multi-axial load acquisition system for the IPL. The procedure included design, manufacture, implementation, and validation of the system. Validating the system in multiple axes required isolating single stress components along each of the planar axes. Tension tests were completed to isolate the vertical component, and shear tests were completed to isolate the horizontal component. Each of the results were compared to results of standardized test procedures designed to isolate their respective stress components. Digital image correlation was implemented as a non-contact method of measuring displacement for the testing procedures. The data collected in this study provides confidence in the ability to measure multi-axial loading in combination with digital image correlation to expand the capabilities of multi-axial testing. The system provides the ability to study load dependent failure of materials as well as displacement dependent failure. The information presented provides an understanding of challenges associated with multi-axial testing which hopes to assist in the development of future multi-axial test frames.




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