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Physicists Purchase Materials Testing Machine In Support Of Pioneering Particle Physics Experiments

20 April 2007

The Particle Physics Group at Liverpool University has purchased an LRXPlus single column materials testing machine from Lloyd Instruments, which will be used to help characterise the carbon-fibre support frames for detectors used for state-of-the-art particle physics experiments. The LRXPlus is a 5 kN (1125 lbf) instrument and has been supplied with NEXYGENPlus materials test and control software and 3-point bend test jig. The Group continues to focus on the development and construction of high precision tracking detectors for recording the position of charged particles in two of the four experiments currently being constructed for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is a particle accelerator, which will probe deeper into matter than ever before and is expected to be operational towards the end of 2007. The Group’s Dr. Tim Jones explains: “We have recently completed the construction of a large assembly of nearly 1000 detector modules for the SemiConductor Tracker (SCT) for the ATLAS experiment at CERN and we are midway through construction of detector modules for the Vertex Locator (VeLo) tracker for the ATLAS and LHCb experiments. The SCT detects the particles with an accuracy of ~ 10ìm at several points along their path as they travel out from the interaction point. The collection of data-points is subsequently analysed by powerful computer systems to identify tracks and measure properties, such as their origin and momentum”. “From an engineering point of view the most stringent requirements for the support structures for such tracking detectors are for high dimensional stability and minimal material”, he continued. “The Lloyd Instruments LRXPlus test machine will allow us to analyse the deflection of samples, and in some cases final parts, under various load conditions with the aim of optimising the design and lay-up of components to achieve the best possible mechanical properties with the minimum material.” NEXYGENPlus software is ideally suited for this type of application
since it contains an extensive built-in library of test methods covering ASTM, DIN, EN, ISO and other standards. Not only that, there are complete test wizards for tension, compression, tearing, peeling, friction and flexural tests. NEXYGENPlus also allows complete user- configurable tests to be created for complete versatility. “We are just starting out using some standard tests for measuring samples of carbon-fibre skins that have the lay-up that we have used in various supports. We also plan to design some special support jigs when we begin to test some final geometry parts”, concluded Dr. Jones.

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