ABL Friction Machine

SMS ABL Friction Machine

Safety Management Services, Inc. (SMS™) manufactures the ABL Friction Test Machine for clients who require in-house testing capability to determine energetic material response to friction energy stimulus.  The ABL Friction machine is one of the industries core sensitivity test machines for producing energetic material sensitivity data.

The ABL Friction Test is designed to impart a known (downward) force onto the test sample while moving two control surfaces relative to one another, at a known velocity.  This is designed to simulate an in-process scenario where two objects have energetic material captured between them and slide past each other creating a friction event.  For the ABL Friction test, an energetic test sample is placed on a steel plate (anvil); a steel disc is then lowered into contact with the test sample.  The steel disc is pressed onto the sample with a hydraulic ram until the desired force is achieved.  The steel plate is then struck by a swing hammer that moves the plate 1 inch at the designated velocity.  The velocity of the plate is controlled by the drop height of the swing arm.  For low-speed measurements (0 – 3 feet/sec) the anvil is moved by attachment to a chain pull drive system.  The speed of the anvil is controlled by using a variable speed motor to drive the chain.

Reaction of the material (go vs. no-go) is determined by operator observation, detection of decomposition by a gas analyzer, or utilizing the SMS developed GoDetect-View™ high speed video capture system.  The ABL Friction machine is capable of producing sensitivity data in engineering units for direct correlation to in-process energy. The sensitivity data is used to determine critical safety parameters related to manufacturing and handling of the materials being tested.

The ABL Friction machine produced by SMS has been adopted by both the UN and the ET Users’ Group (Explosive Testing Users’ Group, www.etusersgroup.org) due to the following:

  1. Compliance to established industry standards for test methodology
  2. Applicability to historical data
  3. High level of fabrication controls (i.e. flatness, hardness, surface finish)
  4. Capable of producing data in engineering units for in-process energy comparison
  5. Standardized operating procedures for controlling test variables
  6. Equipment calibration
  7. Verified and repeatable test results through a lab validation process