Southwark Emery Upgrade Completed

1 October 2017

At 82 years of age, the Southwark Emery UTM is by far the oldest NIST-traceable testing machine at the Carleton Laboratory and possibly the University. Its heavy use in both research and industry testing underlines its importance in fulfilling the Laboratory’s core mission. Focused investments in the last five years have allowed this machine to continue to operate reliably. In the last year, the Southwark-Emery has undergone the most significant retrofit and upgrade program since its installation in the Engineering Terrace building in 1962. The core of the effort was the replacement of critical load-transfer nuts in the movable crosshead, a major undertaking and investment in the machine for upcoming decades. This project was completed successfully by the Laboratory staff, offsetting the considerable hazard of the old load-transfer nuts failing in service.

With the risk of nut failure mitigated, two follow-up projects were initiated: 1) the replacement of the 1980’s era analog controller with state-of-the-art Instron digital controller; and 2) the replacement of the hydraulic power supply and control consoles, dating in part back to the original manufacture of the machine in 1935! The upgrade entirely replaces the existing electrical and electronic components of the machine. The project was successfully completed in October 2017, making the controls and sensors of the Southwark Emery Universal Testing Machine fully compatible with new Instron testing equipment. Various smaller upgrades, including the upgrade of the crosshead railings, floor access panels, and digital load indicators on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of the Laboratory have also been completed in parallel to the controller/HPU modernization.

Effective immediately, this testing machine is available to researchers as shared equipment at a standard nonprofit hourly rate to Columbia students, researchers, and faculty. This state of the art facility is ready for the research challenges of upcoming decades!

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