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Encapsulated Sample Rheometer. Characterize composite materials and resins in a single test.

Premier ESR Instrument from Alpha Technologies left view

Measuring the next frontier of high-performance materials. We’re on the leading edge.

Alpha’s Premier ESR® is designed for the next wave of high-performance materials. Industries that have discovered the benefits of using the Premier ESR include:

  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers
  • Thermosets
  • Electronic Circuit Boards
  • Aircraft
  • Composites
  • Universities

Premier ESR is capable of testing a wide range of samples including resins, powder, pellets, liquids and prepregs.

Premier ESR measures cure properties using isothermal or nonisothermal temperature programs. This enables precise characterization of materials by comparing results from different formulations, batches, or different levels of aging.

Because ESR-cured samples are made from the same material (prepreg) as your finished part, the testing can precisely mimic the same temperature program as your process in real time. That means that testing in tandem with production during long cure cycles can help ensure complete cure in more efficient times. What’s more, the retainable coupon from the ESR can be used for more testing including DMA, TMA and Proof of Cure State in Part.

We spent a great deal of time asking our colleagues in the composites and resin industries what they needed to better measure their cured materials. Then we went to work to create the Premier ESR. A lot of the new ideas and features that are part of this instrument are from our own scientists and engineers. But a lot of the thinking also came from our customers.”

Dung Nguyen, Electrical Engineer

How to Compare Premier ESR with all the others.

Actually, that’s harder to do, than you might think. While a number of companies offer expensive, technically complex and test-time prohibitive DMA instruments, it took Alpha Technologies to introduce the Premier ESR. Alpha’s Premier ESR meets the ASTM D7750. It provides a cost-effective method to cure composite materials under any cure cycle necessary. In addition, the ESR is capable of measuring gel, cure and final physical properties from those conditions.

(By the way, for a little light reading enjoyment check out “Improving the Measurement of Prepreg Viscosity, Gel and Cure Using an Encapsulated Specimen Rheometer,” by Alpha’s rheology fellow H. Pawlowski, and available through SAMPE North America’s 2017 Conference in Seattle.)

That said, Premier ESR comes with a number of standard features that are important to consider when you are considering the purchase of an ESR.

Premier ESR prepreg sample cuts
Premier ESR prepreg samples

Precision Encapsulated Sample Geometry – The pressurization of the sample holds the sample in place. That, in turn allows measurement of unidirectional laminates as well as optimization of cure profiles

Test Under True Isothermal Conditions – Important for determining the state of cure and optimum viscosity, as many reactions are highly exothermal and require precise temperature control.

Separate Touchscreen User Interfaces – Workbench for instrument management and Online Manager for data analysis. Our custom electronics give you true multi-tasking. Unlike sluggish PLCs used by others, there’s no waiting for the test to finish before being able to review data.

Soft Close Operation – Premier ESR controls the pressure of platens coming together to maintain sample positioning.

Custom Designed Flat Dies – Replaces Premier RPA’s biconical dies. Our flat dies are essential for testing very hard materials.

K-Factor Calibration – Extends the range to higher modulus values by accounting for compliance in the transducer. Allows the measurement of very high modulus materials after curing.

Patented O-ring  – Gives a constant resin-fiber ratio and improves repeatability.

Patented Limited Slip Die Option –Specifically designed for thermoplastic testing

Meets ASTM D7750 – Introduced in 2013, the standard defines measurement of cure and cure times based on viscoelastic properties, applicable to resins and prepregs.

High Temperature Testing – Premier ESR expands the range of testing from our standard 230ºC up to 350ºC .

In addition to expanded range of testing from 30ºC to 350ºC, Premier ESR’s range of test conditions includes:

  • Torque – from 0.005º (O.o7%) to 90º (1256%)
  • Frequency – 0.0016 Hz to 50 Hz
  • Time – 0.1 minute to 9999.99 minutes
Premier ESR Instrument from Alpha Technologies

Standard Premier Features

Faster. Better Control. Better Resolution.

Custom Electronics that are matched to the instrument. Better control. Better resolution. Other RPAs use off-the-shelf PLCs to save money, but can’t fine-tune their electronics to their instrument – often overshoot set points then spend valuable time stabilizing.

Efficient Die Cooling

Efficient die cooling that gets your instrument ready for the next test. Why wait 20 minutes for dies to cool down when Premier instruments take about 6 minutes. (And our instruments are smart enough to know when the instrument reaches the right temperature. Others, not so much.)

Custom Designed Heating Control System

Because they are designed specifically for Premier instruments, our heating control system ramps up heating cycles faster and maintains control for more accurate cure times and more efficient production.

Dynamic Symmetry and Smart Alignment

More accurate measurements. No loss of signal thanks to Premier’s Smart Alignment and Dynamic Symmetry. On-target, parallel die closing, high stiffness and constant closing force.

Lighter. Stronger. Stiffer.

Work smarter not harder with lighter, cast aluminum frames. Not only are Premier frames light, but incredibly stiff for less variability. What’s more, Premier instruments incorporate frame compliance into the calibration for better data.

Control with a Personal Touch

Our incredibly intuitive user interface comes to you through a large, bright, touch screen panel that lets you navigate to the view you want or the information you need, fast and easy.

Storage Drawer

Okay… that’s a really small thing. But QA and R&D technicians love having a way to keep their workspace clear.

Applications

Specifications

Heating Rate: 0.36 °F/min. (0.20 °C/min.) to 90 °F/min. (50°C/min.)
Max Cooling Rate: 54 °F/min. (30 °C/min.)
Measurements: Torque (S’, S”, S*), Tan(Delta), Dynamic Viscosity (η’, η”, η*), Shear Modulus (G’, G”, G*), Temperature (°C or °F), Strain (degrees, %, fractional strain), Frequency (cpm, Hz, radians/ sec), Pressure (kPa, psi)
Electrical: 100/110/120/130 VAC ±10%, 60 ±3 Hz, 20 amp single phase
200/220/240/260 VAC ±10%, 50 ±3 Hz, 10amp single phase
Air Pressure: 80 psi (5.6 kg/cm) 2551 kPa minimum
Dimensions: W: 22 in (56 cm), H: 48 in (122 cm), D: 25 in (64cm)
Weight: Net 346 lb (157 kg), gross 616 lb (280 kg)
Sample Cavity: 3.5 ccm
Sample Dimensions: 41 mm in Diameter, 2.6 mm Nominal Thickness
Temperature Range: Ambient to 662°F (350°C)

Accessories

Sample Automation on a Premier RPA+

Sample Automation

5, 36, 256 Samples

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