A Member company recently reported that they had found fatigue failures in their filter presses. As a result an engineer from TWI was called in to investigate and report back whether similar designs of filter press, operating in Malaysia, were likely to suffer a similar fate.
As part of the investigation, specialised demountable strain gauges were used to measure the strain at fatigue sensitive locations in three filter press frames. Demountable gauges are easy to install with minimum surface preparation, allowing a faster turnaround than conventional bonded gauges.
Four locations were assessed, each frame being completed and back on stream in about an hour compared to about three to four hours using conventional strain gauging techniques.
TWI was able to report that for this particular design of filter press, the process cycle was such that the fatigue life was shorter than anticipated on some filters. This knowledge enabled the manufacturer to plan replacement of the critical parts and avoid costly disruptions to production resulting from premature failure.
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