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Imatek has completed the installation of an IM10R impact test system at the Nagoya site of Tokai Rubber Industries in Japan.

The system will be primarily utilised for understanding and developing the impact and energy absorption characteristics of materials used on vehicles for pedestrian safety applications.

The IM10R has two modes of operation: high-rate tensile tests on standard polymer specimens and the dynamic compression testing of polymeric foams and structures containing the same.

In tensile mode, the system can test tensile specimens at strain rates in excess of 1,000s-1 and yield strengths up to 35kN.

In dynamic compression mode, the system uses a lightweight alloy carriage that is fitted with a variety of profiled strikers, including child, teen and adult leg- and head-form strikers, in order to measure the energy absorption characteristics of materials and structures at representative speeds of up to 50km/h and acceleration of up to 500G.

Tokai manufactures a range of automobile components, including anti-vibration rubber and hoses.

The company is also a principle supplier to Toyota cars and it manufactures rubber components for the IT industry.

Imatek’s IM10 range is versatile and can accommodate a range of automotive test applications.

Typical automotive test applications include standard QC tests on polymers to meet mandatory test requirements, for example to ensure against the brittle failure of key parts such as those that could compromise supplementary safety systems or cause injury to occupants.

It also ensures against the embrittlement of polymers because of paint coatings.

It can test alternative materials for suitability, weight reduction and better performance at lower cost.

The instrument characterises the energy absorption efficiency of polymeric foams, alloys and crush tubes for safety applications, such as bumper structures and head, leg and knee protection applications.

It can also carry out the resilience tests and dynamic fatigue tests of rubbers, such as those used in suspension and steering components, and the crush testing of structures to assess crash performance, such as for structures that are adjacent to or surrounding fuel lines to check susceptibility to damage and therefore crash failure.

Other applications are the high-rate tensile testing of polymers and sheet steels at speeds representative of in-use conditions and the impact performance of key structures, such as suspension and steering assemblies, alloy and steel castings.

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