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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2019 / Vol 42 No4

28 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

28 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Rob LaPointe AIM TESTING LABORATORY Many of us in the fastener industry get the opportunity to dive into the technical side of our products, but probably more of us don’t have the need to. As a result, we may not have a working knowledge of the basic science behind fasteners. It’s not that we can’t do our jobs without this knowledge, but we might be able to do our jobs better if we knew more about the fundamentals of our products. In both my academic career as in my business career, I’ve always been amazed at how useful basic functional knowledge is for doing all sorts of things from problem solving to communicating solutions to clients and colleagues. In fact, the more fundamental our knowledge is, the more useful it is. Most fasteners are performance products that require certain physical characteristics such as hardness and tensile strength in order to achieve proper functionally. Manufacturing, distributing or selling these pieces of technology requires us to, at least, be familiar Rob LaPointe is a noted authority in materials and fastener technology. With extensive experience in the management and science of materials testing laboratories combined with master’s degrees in physics and education, he excels at bringing solutions to the client. Working specifically in the fastener testing industry, he has developed expertise in mechanical, nondestructive, metallurgical and chemical testing. With a background of 20 years in physics education, Rob is effective at communicating complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner, communicating well with clients enabling them to make informed decisions about their products and business. AIM is located at 1920 Cordell Court #101, El Cajon, CA, 92020. Tel: 909-254-1278, email: sales@aimtestlab.com or online at www.aimtestlab.com FASTENER SCIENCE: YIELD AND TENSILE STRENGTH ON THE STRESS-STRAIN CURVE with the physical properties of our products. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to merely being familiar with terms like hardness or tensile strength, but we should actually know a bit about these fundamental properties. I’m talking about the “nitty gritty” geeky stuff that makes our eyes glaze over, causing us to daydream about lunch or puppies or what we’re going to do after work. Geeky stuff is really not so bad. It can be very interesting to see the subtle beauty beyond the surface. Yes, there is an abundance of fascinating physics and materials science that are part of the design and material selection processes that engineers use to determine the appropriate product for an application. Fasteners are not only about form and fit, but also about function and performance. Even though many of us will FIGURE 1 - ANATOMY OF A STRESS-STRAIN CURVE never get into the hard-core details of performance and fewer of us will actually conduct performance testing on our products, we do see and use performance specifications that provide the working limits to the products we make or sell such as SAE J429, and we should all have a basic working knowledge about properties such as yield and tensile strength. TECHNICAL ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 110

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