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Northumbria University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences is utilising a Richard Smalley 25 test rig for mechanical stress analysis.

The purpose-designed test rig allows the accurate measurement of mechanical stress on a standard excavator arm/bucket linkage.

The excavator arm used is an exact half-size replica of the Richard Smalley 430 gravedigger jib, dipper and bucket linkage, complete with 7l bucket.

Less than 1.2m wide and completely self contained, the rig is designed to be easily manoeuvrable in the laboratory, needing only to be pushed into place on its braked castor wheels then connected to single- or three-phase electrical supply.

Completely enclosed in a robust steel frame, yet easily accessed for the addition of sensors, a total of seven test points offer a variety of test scenarios.

The frame may be used to support laptops and other calibration equipment.

Full lever control allows the operator exact manipulation of each machine movement to be able to accurately evaluate changes.

The rig has three safety cutouts, the hydraulic oil used is plant based, hoses are guarded so that oil cannot escape while under pressure and relief valves are included in the circuit to reduce the risk of overload.

The design allows for extra equipment to be added to the excavator arm, such as grab or clamshell bucket.

Richard Smalley

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