Maximum piston travel should be kept to a
minimum, allowing more of the cylinder to support the
piston. If you over-extend the piston, first try to let it
retract on its own. If this is not successful, you should contact
us or the manufacturer for further assistance. Most
manufacturers have a maximum travel of 2 1/2", please refer to your
operators manual or Contact
us for your particular application.
Compression Platens or steel bearing blocks--ASTM & AASHTO specifications (C-39 & T
22) state the machine shall be equipped with two steel bearing blocks
with hardened faces (not less than 55HRC), one of which is spherically seated that will
bear on the upper surface of the specimen and the other on which
the specimen shall rest. There faces shall have a minimum dimension at
least 3 percent greater than the diameter of the specimen to be
tested. Except for the concentric circles, the faces shall be plane within 0.001"
in any 6 inches. If there are any nicks or dents in the plate
or if you can take a 6" straight edge and fit a 0.001" thick feeler
gauge under it, the platen is out of tolerance. Most platens
can be re-surfaced, providing the imperfection are not so large that you grind out the
hardened face or targets. Contact your Ad-Tek Service
Technician to replace or have your platens re-surfaced.
Any testing machine that has threaded tie rods should be checked
periodically for loose nuts. If excessively loose they can cause
inaccurate test results and permanent damage to your machine. Our
AD-TEK technicians routinely check them when they perform an annual
Rate of Loading-- ASTM & AASHTO specifications (C-39 & T
22) state the rate of loading shall be applied continuously and without
shock at a rate of 20 to 50 psi per second. During the application
of the first half of the anticipated loading phase a higher rate of
loading shall be permitted. Make it easy on yourself; load the first
half of the test in fast advance then set up a number that you can easily
see on your machine. 20 to 50 psi / sec. on a 6" dia. cylinder is 565
to 1414 lbf / sec. Most machines have 1,000 lbf increments, use this
as your loading rate, it's easy to see and falls within the
specification. 20 to 50 psi / sec on a 4" dia. cylinder is 251
to 628 lbf / sec., 500 lbf / sec or 1000 lbf / for 2 seconds meets
the criteria. Using these calculations for all of
your samples makes it easier and more consistent for your
Often the question comes up, "When should I have my testing machine
calibrated?" According to the ASTM & AASHTO specifications (E-4
& T 67): It is recommended that testing machines be
verified annually or more frequently if required. In no case shall
the time interval between verifications exceed 18 months. Testing
machines shall be verified immediately after repairs that may in any way
affect the operation of the weighing system or the values displayed.
Verification is required immediately after a testing machine is relocated
and whenever there is a reason to doubt the accuracy of the force
indicating system, regardless of the time interval since the last
verification. Please read the specifications that are pertaining to
your specific tests; ASTM E-4 and AASHTO T 67 meet the majority.
Preventative maintenance is the preferred medicine for your equipment.
--Most testing machines, on the average, should have their
hydraulic fluid changed & filter serviced after 600 hours of use. Contact your Ad-Tek Service Technician for
the recommended maintenance schedule & proper fluid type for your
--the upper spherical should be disassembled, cleaned, and
re-lubricated on a regular basis to avoid damage or unnecessary
--FURNACE WON'T SHUT DOWN. If your furnace is
still running (in burn mode) after two hours or an abnormally long
burn time, you should push the stop/start button and
investigate. The furnace is not receiving a stable weight from the
scale. This is caused by one of the following: 1) The baskets
are rubbing a wall or the door. 2) The ceramic insulators are
rubbing the edges of the holes. 3) The furnace itself is not stable
or is not level. 4) A scale or logic board has failed. Please
keep in mind NEVER OPEN THE DOOR
IF YOU SUSPECT THE SAMPLE IS STILL BURNING!! This can
cause a serious injury
or even death. Please use caution, if you have questions please call us.
--PRINTER ERRORS. There are several reasons
for a printer not to print. Make sure the paper is loaded properly.
On the early models, there is a black rocker switch located on the
front lower panel, this switch commonly goes out and was eliminated on the
newer models. Disconnect the two wires leading to the back of the
switch and connect them together. If you have a newer furnace, the
ribbon cable and its connections should be check. If this fails Contact us here at Ad-Tek where we
have trained technicians on staff to diagnose and repair your
furnace. You most likely need a new printer or logic board.
--"ERROR CODE 8" (one of the more common error
codes). This error occurs when the furnace receives an inaccurate
signal from the scale. The first things to check are: 1) Cable
connections both on the scale and on the logic board. 2) Damaged cables.
3) Hearth plate and ceramic insulators located in the center and not
rubbing anything. After checking these items out try performing
a "hidden key 2", reset to factory defaults. A "hidden key 2" is
performed by turning off the furnace, holding down the 2 key while turning
the furnace on. Please note: This will reset the furnace back
to all factory defaults i.e. chamber temperature, filter temperature,
sample weight, and calibration factor, just to name a few. If this
fails Contact us here at Ad-Tek where we
have trained technicians on staff to diagnose and repair your
furnace. You more than likely need a new scale or logic board.
--One of the most important things to remember on
a Barnstead Thermolyne ignition furnace is to exhaust it properly.
The factory recommends using the appropriate exhaust tubing, connect the
tubing from the exhaust port at the top of the furnace case to an
appropriate negative pressure exhaust
system. Failure to connect the exhaust port to an adequate exhaust
system will result in smoke and gases to enter the work area. We
have seen exhaust systems that appeared to be proper in the lab
or trailer, until : A exhaust
fan or a hood was turned on. This causes the gases, smoke and
extreme heat to flow the wrong direction in the furnace. It will
damage the furnace and possibly cause a heath hazard. If you are
going to use a exhaust fan please make sure there is plenty of free air
for it to draft from, a window or door open should be enough.
--The Barnstead Thermolyne ignition furnace has many built in
safeties. Most of these safeties, if triggered, will display an
error code to help diagnose the problem. Sometimes these error codes
are displayed due to a software glitch. By performing a "hidden key
2", reset to factory defaults, the software is reloaded from the e-proms
and the glitch is gone. A "hidden key 2" is performed by turning off
the furnace, holding down the 2 key while turning the furnace on.
Please note: This will reset the furnace back to all factory
defaults i.e. chamber temperature, filter temperature, sample weight, and
calibration factor, just to name a few.
--Is your Barnstead Thermolyne ignition furnace
taking longer than normal to warm up? The average furnace chamber
warms up to 538° C within 2 hours and the filter temp up to 750° C within
3 hours. If your furnace is taking a bit longer or is not reaching
it's set point at all, it could be suffering from a bad heating
element. Contact us here at Ad-Tek where we
have trained technicians on staff to diagnose & repair your
--If your Barnstead/Thermolyne NCAT ignition furnace will not start up in
cold weather, here is the solution: When the indicating temperature is 0°
C, the furnace will not start. Light a match or lighter, warm up the
thermocouple located inside the ignition chamber until it indicates above
0° C, close the door and your furnace should start right up.
Watch for other helpful tech-tips from
AD-TEK technicians on this page.