Tinius Olsen

1065 Easton Rd
Horsham,  PA  19044

United States
  • Booth: A2717

 Press Releases



    New Video Extensometer Looks to the Future 

    Tinius Olsen have introduced the next generation of extensometry technology, with the introduction of their new video extensometer, the VEM Series.

    The instrument, which is available in both single and multi camera systems, is designed to measure low levels of strain from 0.01% in tensile, compression, shear and flexural modes. It utilises high resolution monochrome cameras, with advanced high-speed image processing, which added to the inclusion of cool lighting, allows point to point real-time video processing capable of exceeding ASTM E83 Class B1 and ISO 9513 Class 0.5 accuracy.


    “The system works by acquiring an image of the test sample with the VEM’s pattern recognition technology locking onto two targets creating a gauge length, which can be set as required by the user,” said Martin Wheeler, Director of Sales and Business Development. 

    “As the specimen is tested, software tracks the point to point movement of the two targets from camera frame to camera frame, allowing the strain data to be calculated in real time. Multiple gauge lengths are possible in both longitudinal and transverse directions, allowing the determination of r and N values.”

    The required high resolution of the VEM system needed to calculate these results is achieved through sub-pixel interpolation algorithms, allowing the system to resolve to micron levels of movement. All measurements and outputs are time stamped and can be archived for later reference. The uncompressed video output can be recorded for post-test measurements and analysis.

    An integral lighting strip guarantees repeatability in tests regardless of lab conditions yet requires no special light sources or red colours, being easily regulated by the user modifying intensity as required, to guarantee a stable light environment. These adaptable extensometer modules are available in a range of different performance configurations each compatible with Tinius Olsen’s Horizon and VSS materials testing software, whether the Basic, Standard, or Advanced option. 

    The VEM is available in two different versions for either low or high extension materials, which is achieved by the selection of specific high resolution lenses. The low extension system utilises a small field of view lens, which is designed specifically for low strain measurements, whereas the high extension version is supplied with a general purpose lens, giving a field of view of up to 1,000 mm. 

    This range of technology provides video extensometry for almost every type of application, including composites, metals inclusive of thin wire, textiles and plastics. 

    “The precise camera, lens and data acquisition technology delivers zero gauge length error every time and rapid application of gauge marks, including for the measurement of rotation (to monitor specimen alignment) during testing. Calibration is digitally embedded but, for reassurance, can be verified at any time using the standard traceable gauge block supplied,” continued Mr Wheeler

    Further enhancement of the system can be achieved by utilising multiple cameras for more demanding applications, such as thin wire and composites. The system software can track patterns from up to eight individual cameras, with eight different lenses.

    Tinius Olsen Horizon software utilises data from the materials testing lens for the initial linear section of the stress/strain graph then switches to the camera with the general purpose lens for the rest of the test. This ensures the highest possible quality data to be used.

    The VEM Series is also directly compatible with the entire range of Tinius Olsen testing machine frames. It is mounted using a stabilised carbon fibre arm with integrated X, Y and Z fine positioning adjustment for optimum measuring performance.

    “The units are completely combined with the testing machine and result-reporting software, supporting strain rate control, many gauge length click-and-drag placements, and real-time results during and throughout the test.”

    “Where the new system really excels however, is by the optimising of productivity through speed of use, thus enhancing repeatability as well as aiding traceability via the embedded strain data video stored as part of the results data set.” 

    Further information can be found by visiting https://www.tiniusolsen.com/list-of-products/vem-200

    Key Features of the VEM 200 Video Extensometer

     *    Non contacting video extensometer solution

    *    One extensometer measures in tension, compression, flexural, shear modes

    *    No need for bonded strain gauges or multiple clip on extensometers for r&n

    *    Supports axial, transverse, orthogonal and rotational measurements

    *    Provides a permanent record for recall of the test in video format with full resolution embedded strain   data

    *    Meets the requirements of ISO 9513 class 0.5, ASTM E83 class B1 and GB/T12160 class 0.5

    For further information on the VEM Series contact Richard Coombes on 01737 765001 or by email: sales@tiniusolsen.co.uk


    New Generation of Machines to Improve on Conventional Hardness Testing

    Tinius Olsen have introduced a new generation of instruments to their highly successful FH Series of hardness testers, with the launch of the new Micro Vickers, Vickers and Micro Brinell FH3 and FH14.

    The machines are improving on conventional hardness testing methods, with the introduction of new features such as digital/optical image evaluation and combined  intuitive operator software, helping eliminate operator influence on final test results. 

    The incorporation of a unique force actuator system, which utilises an electronically controlled closed loop system and advanced force sensor technology, also allows for  forced feedback data to achieve absolute accuracy, reliability and repeatability on each of the forces used for a specific test.

    “In addition to the advanced electromechanical force application system, the FH-3 offers superior quality mechanical and optical components, as well as innovative software functions of I-Touch™ workflow control,” said Sean Malloy, Hardness Application Testing and Technical Specialist at Tinius Olsen. 

    “This allows file storing, test program setting and storing, limit settings, conversions to other hardness scales, system setup and convex and concave test settings that contribute to the high reproducibility of test results.”

    “The new instruments are still easy to navigate through all the functionality, making it easy for an operator to learn the machine operating routine. Therefore training is simplified. There is also the ability to store results with pictures, which enables recall of those pictures for re-evaluation of the measuring process.” 

    The new FH3 and FH14 Series are also designed to be incorporated within an automated system, which collects data from multiple machines performing tests simultaneously. This can be a combination of tensile, dimensional, hardness and flexure testing, with all samples being robot fed. 


    In addition to freeing up technicians for other tasks, the automated system ensures precise sample positioning and imaging, enhanced accuracy, an extremely high level of repeatability and overall increased productivity.  

    It again helps eliminate operator-related errors caused by eye strain, fatigue and inevitable inconsistencies, which can be a common problem in micro hardness 


    “We have 6 models in the FH14 segment with a load range of 1gram to 31.25 Kgf. The FH14 Series of testers can do micro/macro Vickers, Knoop and by request the FH14 can do light force Brinell testing as well. It’s a marvellous combination of testing in one package,” continued Sean.

    “The FH3 series carries many of the same attributes of the FH14 series but increases the amount of space to accommodate the larger than normal samples. This is done with 2 different models and a load range of 200 grams to 62.5 Kgf – not only is the sample accommodations increased from the FH14 series but the load range is expanded to higher Vickers and Brinell testing.”

    “These 2 models will complement each other with their excellent load range and advanced technology, notwithstanding the exceptional value they will bring to the testing industry that demands testing equipment, technical  support and service excellence all from the same company - a one stop shop if you like.”

    Key Features of the new FH3 and FH14 Series

    *    Up to 3 stacked load cells with accuracy of less than 0.5 %

    *    Turret capable of housing up to 4 different objective – 2 indenters

    *    Anti-collision technology within the turret to protect samples and the machine from inadvertent contact

    *    Multi positional touch screen display comes as standard 

    *    Easy operator navigation through all functionality that can be outfitted with 4 graduating levels of automation. This includes a motorised stage performing pattern testing with automatic results,                  without adding complicated functions to confuse the person performing the testing.

    *    Ability to store results with pictures, recall and export to network storage giving the ability to backup and store results over a lengthy period of time

    *    The ability to view the indentation through a microscope and camera to scrutinise the measurement, with Dual optical paths allowing both functions to operate simultaneously.

    For further information on the VEM Series contact Richard Coombes on 01737 765001 or by email: sales@tiniusolsen.co.uk

  • Putting Robots to the Test

    Successful manufacturing relies on quality and productivity. Testing machines are

    used to demonstrate the quality of raw materials such as steel alloys, composites,

    plastics and rubber as well as components including medical devices, packaging

    materials and fasteners. Manufacturing processes today are typically automated to a

    greater or lesser extent, although the quality process is often manual.

    This is generally time consuming, involving entering reference data, performing test

    procedures, reporting on the results, preparing the testing machine, starting the test,

    qualifying and accepting the results and appending comments before removing the


    Historically, materials testing has been an operator using single or multiple                                                        stations. This can be uneconomical in terms of operator time where speed is

    crucial – for example in testing threaded fasteners for the aerospace industry, testing

    is required 24 hours a day. 

    Drug delivery in the biomedical industry is one sector that could benefit from automation. Drug delivery tests are performed on three individual stations with multiples of those stations, lab operators working 24 hours a day loading, testing and removing the parts – this can now be automated.

    However, there is a discrepancy in manufacturing where businesses are happy to pay for

    the automated manufacturing of products. The testing of the materials used in the

    products is still based in the domain of manual workers – no matter the size of the

    business or its industry. The high cost of introducing automated testing into the

    manufacturing process, and whether a business believes it has the volume of samples to

    justify them, has been a barrier to smaller companies considering spending the money

    to supplant human operators carrying out material tests with robots.

    This has resulted in the development of scalable automated testing systems, which

    can offer manufacturing businesses an alternative to manual testing, with long-term


    Figures by Tinius Olsen, UK, claim there are gains to be made, noting that an

    operator can spend 8.4 hours per 24-hour day watching and waiting for tests to run. A

    robotic system can run all day and night, leading to weekly gains of 59 hours against an

    operator, amounting to 127 days over the course of a year. This means more tests can

    be undertaken with increased productivity. 

    The technology can be designed, developed and scaled up or down to fit a business’ needs and be versatile to accommodate any material or components. The idea is it can run single or multiple tasks at any size or combination. Creating a scalable building block approach allows for systems from low force applications of just a few newtons to very high force applications of a thousand kilonewtons or more.

    Olsen’s first machine, built in 1891, the Little Giant, was the first to combine and accurately perform tensile, transverse and compression tests in one instrument

    housed in a single frame. This same design approach is now seeing developments in fully automated testing, whereby multiple machines can be placed into a cell with a single robot control. This can feed multiple materials carrying out tests including hardness, tensile strength and flexibility.

    Accelerating automation

    Automation has crept into materials testing, but it is often limited to devices that hold the testing specimens, such as in semi-automation around heavy metal testing or systems, usually testing rigid raw materials in tensile only parameters. As part of an automated testing solution, a number of options exist in terms of different tests performed at a range of capacities. The different testing options include not just a horizontal or vertical tensile test but also a flexural test, a hardness test and/or any other type of physical testing equipment that can export test data.

    When companies review automated processes in terms of manufacturing, they should apply the same business rationale to their quality lab. Often, they believe it can't be done, or there's not enough throughput to justify its introduction. But, by taking into consideration the time it takes to do a test and the need for repeatability – an eight-hour shift, six days a week requirement – significant money can be made and not just saved by automating the quality control.

    Automation has been incorporated into a number of testing machines including the tensile tester – it has either a vertical orientation or a horizontal orientation, consisting of an electromechanical tensile tester, which is available in a selection of maximum test capacities. Testing in the horizontal plane allows the use of a precision extensometer that takes advantage of gravity to rest on

    and follow the specimen as it is pulled to break. Using air bearings and a non-slip finish on the knife-edges of the extensometer achieves Class A accuracy.

    The primary test station features, for example, a 600kN test station. Using open front crossheads on the tester allows the robot to place the sample into the tester and the hydraulic grips can be easily closed. Extensometry is achieved using either standard non-contacting extensometers or an automatic clip on extensometer. The advantage of an integrated and robotic test system is the ability to test a large number of specimens leaving operators available to perform other types of quality tests.

    Large amounts of materials are stored in a way that allows easy access for the

    robotic arm to grab the next specimen. These storage systems can be simple specimen

    racks that are arranged in an arc around the robot arm. The robot moves around to

    pick the next specimen, or multiple large storage racks are pneumatically moved into

    position so that the robot returns to the same place to collect the next specimen.

    Gathering data

    Once a material has been selected, it is important to know as much as possible and each

    should be identified, most commonly with a barcode. The barcode holds information

    about the material and can be read into the testing machine software. Alternatively,

    the barcode can trigger an import of data into this software. Information may include

    identifiers, test parameters, result limits or any other relevant data. The robot can be

    programmed to move the material from station to station, rotating the material to

    be loaded either horizontally, vertically or at any angle in between, depending on the

    requirements. It controls the movement of the specimen through the different testing

    routines, but it also listens to input from other external testers and will place these

    results into a summary report.

    Businesses will benefit from the productivity and repeatability of automation – the

    machine can be used every hour of every week. With optimisation, speed, efficiency

    and cost at the centre of automated solutions, robotics may hold the answer in future

    testing facilities.

    Martin Wheeler is Director of Sales and Business Development at Tinius Olsen, UK,

    specialising in the manufacture and supply of materials testing machines and analysis

    systems for raw materials such as metals, composites, plastics, textiles and/or components for automotive, aerospace, medical devices, fasteners, rebar, cables and packaging systems.

    For further information on the VEM Series contact Richard

    Coombes on 01737 765001, email: sales@tiniusolsen.co.uk or visit:


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