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Motion control system for testing of materials

Research Achievements

Motion control system for testing of materials

IGERT Trainee Eli Patten designed and built a custom multi-directional motion control system for biologically realistic testing of materials. Most test machines for measuring material properties, such as wear resistance or fatigue, only have one direction of motion. Biological systems, however, rarely experience this simplistic case. The human knee joint, for example, has multiple-directional sliding, rotation, and rolling. Testing machines that simulate these multiple degrees of motion are expensive and complicated. Eli designed and built a simpler and inexpensive testing machine setup using a CNC milling machine base with a vertical mounting table replacing the milling head. The X-Y table, pneumatic actuators, load cells, and additional motors are connected to custom software interface and can be easily adapted to reproduce biologically realistic motions for use in a wide range of fundamental, interdisciplinary questions and applications of materials and structures.