Static Load Testing

Static load testing is an essential part of many engineering, building and manufacturing projects. Failure of any load-bearing component, material or structure can endanger lives and cause enormous economic loss. This is why loads and weights must be calculated and tested accurately. Of course, the testing of large or heavy parts requires the use of special equipment.

Water filled load test weights

Static load testing a crane beam

Water Filled Weights

Water filled weights (also known as ballast bags) provide a very flexible method for load testing. Test weights must be sufficiently heavy to ascertain the maximum load of an object, but they should also be reusable and safe to deploy in a test environment. Hard-filled weights are suitable in many tests, but on the largest scale, water-filled weights provide an ideal solution. When empty they weigh just a small fraction of the filled weight so are easy to transport. In use they can be part-filled for any exacting requirements, or used in combination.

Once filled with water these specially constructed bags can weigh anything from 1,000 Kg to 35,000 Kg, ensuring that objects such as structural beams and crane arms can be tested for durability under extreme loads. Objects can be tested in various ways, for example, test weights might be attached to the centre of a steel arch to ascertain load capacity before being (vertically) affixed to one end to test tensile strength. Understanding how components, parts or materials behave under extreme loads in different positions can help engineers create safer, more powerful systems.

Although capable of being used almost anywhere, water-filled weights are often deployed in docks to ensure that parts can be tested without fear of causing structural damage (failed components and the weights attached to them can simply fall into the water). To ensure that materials are tested accurately, the risk of cable failure is reduced by the inclusion of telemetry dual-load shackles and tensile load cells.

For more information see Water Filled Weights.

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