In structures and components involving repeated load applications, fatigue and fracture investigations on structural components and standard test specimens for material characterisation are extremely important for validating engineering designs. In spite of the analytical tools and computational facilities available, fatigue and fracture testing provides the only reliable tool available for solving complex problems.
The Fatigue & Fracture Laboratory (FFL) of CSIR-SERC has excellent and state-of-the-art facilities for conducting fatigue and fracture studies. The facilities available include a heavy duty test floor of plan dimensions of 36.36 m x 10.5 m, together with two vertical reaction walls of 10.5 m wide and 7 m high. The laboratory is equipped with servo-controlled fatigue testing systems with actuators of capacities ±50 kN (two nos.), ±100 kN (two nos.), ±500 kN (two nos.), ±1000 kN (two nos.), and ±2000 kN. In addition, the laboratory is also having fatigue rated Universal Testing Machines (UTMs) of ±250 kN and ±500 kN (two nos.) capacity. All these fatigue testing systems are supplied with necessary hydraulic pressure of 210 MPa from three numbers of hydraulic power packs of total capacity 510 lpm. The laboratory has the necessary facilities and expertise to carry out flaw detection and sizing by ultrasonic and potential difference techniques. The laboratory is also equipped with video microscope, multi-channel and high speed data acquisition units and online multi-image capturing capabilities.
Since 1989, the laboratory has efficiently utilised the facilities and expertise available in carrying out in-house and sponsored R&D activities and serving various institutions and industries related to strategic and energy sectors, automobile applications, railways, aerospace applications, construction industry etc. Fatigue and fracture studies have been carried out on steel tubular joints of offshore jacket platforms, carbon steel and stainless steel piping components used in power plants, automobile components (connecting rods, air springs, air suspension systems, Role Over Protective Structures – ROPS, wheels of earthmoving equipment for special applications, industrial and automobile chains, stabiliser legs, hub brackets, sub-frames, rubber bushes, parallel link brackets etc.), tyre curing press, shock transmission units, alumino-thermit and flash-butt welded rail joints used in Indian Railways, reinforcing bars (thermo-mechanically treated bars, corrosion resistant steel, reinforcing bar couplers etc.), pre-stressing strands, indigenous bearing material for LCA applications and many other components and materials.