Force Measurement | Material Testing | Top Load Test

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Top Load Test on Plastic Bottles – Force Measurement

How to Solve Your Bottle Top Load Testing Needs with Starrett Force


The Problem:

We need a force measurement test to determine the maximum load of which a plastic bottle is capable of supporting before total collapse. This is a common assurance needed by the industry to ensure that when products are packaged and stacked, they will maintain good quality for their customers.

Our Solution:

To find the maximum load of compression for the bottle to a set distance, use The L1-110 Force Measurement System

View this Top Load Test and more at the Official Starrett Youtube page:



Setting Up This Load Test:


Your Equipment

L1 System, FMM-110 frame, 110 lbf, includes Tablet and L1 Software. BLC-100 Load Cell, for L1 Systems, 100lbf. PLATEN-23S-96-1


Pre Test Set Up

Using The L1 software “Distance Test Template” the first step to achieving your load test is to establish all of the Pre-Test Settings

  • In this example Load Units and Distance Units are set to lbf (pounds) and in (inches) respectively.
  • Set Home is set to “Yes” so the equipment can automatically save its starting position when at test is started.
  • A PreLoad is used to locate the top of the bottle at the beginning of the load test. In this example when the system detects a 0.10lbf Load Limit it will find the top of the bottle.
  • In Set Datum Zero Load and Zero Distance are checked so the equipment will zero the load and distance once the PreLoad is reached.


Force Testing results screen


Setting A Top Load Test
  • First, establish the nature of the test. For these bottles, the test Type will be Compression. This will drive the crosshead downward treating the compressive force as the positive value, while compressive force is negative.
  • Using the distance template, the Target Distance for the test must be a distance in the negative (downward) direction. For example, with the zero-distance set, and a target height of -2 inches, the test will drive the crosshead downward two inches, compressing the bottle.
  • The Duration setting is a period of time set to hold the crosshead at that target height, so setting it to 10 seconds means that once the crosshead achieves the -0.25 inch distance, it will attempt to hold the target location for the duration. Leaving the Duration blank will provide no hold at that point.
  • Setting a Speed is dependent on the test, and if necessary, can be set to a fast or slow speed, which may affect results. As a general rule, use the speed best related to what the sample is expected to undergo. For example, use a high speed for if the bottles are to be dropped or have weighted items dropped on them, and slow speeds for placement and cautious application of force to the bottles.
  • Also, in the test settings, there are Stop-If Conditions that can be set to prevent unwanted test results. As this is a Distance test, these stop-ifs can be set to either the load or upon a break of the sample. One example of a stop-if condition is to set the Load Limit to under the value of the used load cell. In the above image, the Load Limit is set to stop the test at 90 pounds. This will help to prevent overloads from unexpected test results. Leaving any of the conditions blank will make sure the test does not stop if a condition of a Load or Break are set. Break and Min Break conditions are dependent on one another, and must both be set for the stop-if condition to function.


force Testing settings menu


Reading your Measurement Data
  • Data collection defaults are to find the Load and the Distance. These points can be removed and replaced with the data points desired, for this test, it is the Maximum Load, and the Distance at Maximum Load. These target points will show where the maximum compression of the bottle occurs before failure, and at what load this event occurs at.

The resulting data shows the weight support limit of the bottle, and based on the speed of the test, at what application speed the weight can be applied at. Tolerance limits can be set to establish a pass/fail scenario for what is expected of the bottles for each data sample


Data Preferences


Post Test Preferences
  • The Post-Test Settings can be set to have the crosshead return home after the load test by setting Return Home to “Yes”. Note that this does not return the crosshead to the top of the bottle, but to where the crosshead originally was placed before the Start Test button was pressed.
  • Export settings can have data saved as raw text results and saved file results to the Exports folder which, by default, can be found in C:\Users\Public\Documents\MetLogix\Exports.
  • Print Results uses the established printer settings to either produce a physical copy of the results or a PDF/XPS electronic copy that can be saved to the computer. Runs Limit allows the number of runs that the software keeps at any given time to be increased or decreased, and by default, is set to 100.


End of Force Test Options Start Screen for Load Test








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