Lawn Mower Blade Lab Capabilities & Services
Fisher Barton has created one of the finest Materials Research Laboratories in the world. Opened in summer 2011, our state-of-the-art facility includes a full array of the most up-to-date instruments available for the chemical, mechanical, and microscopic analysis of mower blade materials and other metals.
In addition to our austempering and MARBAIN® heat treating processes and innovative manufacturing techniques, our Materials Research Lab continues to develop new methods to further improve our commercial lawn mower blades. Fisher Barton already makes the best, most durable mower blades on the market, but we're always striving to make them even better.
Our Materials Research Lab gives us a wide range of testing and analytical capabilities to help us improve our processes and manufacture consistently superior products. These testing capabilities include:
SEM with EDS
Our scanning electron microscope (SEM) allows us to perform sophisticated analyses of surfaces in our mower blade materials.
Fisher Barton's SEM also enables us to see fine phases distributed throughout the tested materials. SEM is often used in combination with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), giving us the unique ability to both qualitatively and quantitatively measure chemical differences between phases in microscopic areas.
Using EDS, we are able to produce a color-contour map of each element found in a sample. This map allows us to visually inspect chemical differences within an exceedingly small space.
Applying these two microanalysis techniques allows us to better research our components, improve them, and make them more cost effective.
X-Ray Fluorescence/X-Ray Diffraction & Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectrometry
Fisher Barton uses X-ray fluorescence technology to quantitatively identify unknown constituents in a variety of materials. Once these elements are identified, the material can be further examined using x-ray diffraction. This can be used to identify crystallographic structures in solid “bulk” samples.
We use glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES or GDS) to qualitatively and quantitatively measure elements present in bulk materials. GDS uses electron excitation, photon emission, and a holographic grating to separate emitted light into its component wavelengths. This tells us the elements present in the analyzed material. Unlike traditional optical emission spectrometers, GDS sputters away material layer-by-layer, analyzing each layer to provide a quantitative depth of each element present. GDS is very useful in measuring very thin layers where elemental compositions are changing.
Because so little of the sample is destroyed, we're able to analyze very thin films of material. Layered material analysis is important at the interface of base materials and coatings, where wear and adhesion issues become paramount.
Drop-Weight Impact Testing
Our lab's impact testing technology allows us to control a number of variable affecting the force of impact with a part or component. It also provides real-time measurements during impact, with extraordinary sensitivity. Fisher Barton's drop-weight testing capabilities enable us to measure accurately at what force chipping of a coating will begin, and at what time during impact with a cutting edge chipping is imminent.
By understanding these factors, we can change and improve our coatings, products, and product processes.
Abrasion & Erosion Testing
Coatings and other factors in the production of metal parts and components has become increasingly complex. As such, the need for more precise technologies to measure wear and other causes of failure has grown.
Few other facilities offer the abrasion and erosion testing capabilities of Fisher Barton's lab. Our testing capabilities allow us to repeatedly perform standardized tests to rank the abrasion and erosion resistance of our materials. We know materials wear differently in varying locations throughout the world, and with the time and high cost associated with field tests in mind, we are able to use our standardized testing to isolate the primary source of wear before parts hit the field. We use this understanding, along with our research and materials expertise, to serve you better than anyone in the industry.
Fatigue testing is another important mechanical testing capability. Fisher Barton subjects a component to cyclic loads to determine if it will fail when and where its design predicts. This test either confirms the safety of the design, or provides us with information that aids our customer's redesign process.
One of the primary missions of our Materials Research Lab is to continue to provide our customer with top quality products while saving them valuable time and money. Mechanical lab testing is a prime illustration of this-we know that field testing is expensive and time-consuming. One of the goals of our lab is to dramatically reduce the design cycle time and minimize the need for field testing by optimizing a part or component before it is deployed.
Throughout our history, Fisher Barton has been proud to provide materials expertise that has fueled innovations which carry our customers to success. Our Materials Research Lab is built on our strong tradition of innovation and is focused on the continued growth of these customers.