Comprehensive solutions for sample preparation and materials testing
Buehler is one of the leaders in the field of equipment and technologies for sample preparation for testing and of hardness testing instruments. The company was established in 1936 in the USA by Adolf Bьhler in order to develop equipment for metallographic sample preparation. Currently, Buehler is a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a global, Fortune 200 company. In 2011, Wilson Hardness, a manufacturer of hardness testers was combined with us. We have three production facilities and develop and manufacture all equipment, software and materials. We have offices in nine countries, and in more than 100 countries we are represented by distributors, including by Novatest in Russia.
Which market segments are most important for the company?
Metallography and hardness testing are classical methods of studying structure and mechanical properties in materials science. Our equipment is used for sample preparation and testing of almost any material: steels, metals, alloys, polymers, composites, textiles, minerals. Most often (70% of cases) it is used for testing of steels, but in recent years there has been a tendency to increase the share of polymers and other materials. The main customers are the companies from the automobile, aerospace, defense industry, energy, electronics, as well as scientific and educational centers.
First, the software interface is being improved. Users attach great importance to this, as the efficiency of using the equipment largely depends on the ease of configuration and control. The second area is simpler and cheaper maintenance and repair. Absolutely reliable equipment, as is known, does not exist, so it is very important that repairs can be carried out with minimal costs and time. Thirdly, customers need a high speed of work, so we are striving to develop solutions that exclude the effect of the “bottleneck”. It should be added that we offer integrated solutions, including equipment and high-quality consumables, that is, customers can get everything they need to work from one source.
What developments are presented at the Control 2017?
A major novelty is the new IsoMet high-speed and high-precision cutter, which is equipped with abrasive or diamond blades and can cut virtually any material, including metals of different hardness, polymers, ceramics, composites, biomaterials. IsoMet is characterized by high accuracy of cut and good repeatability. The SmartCut automatic cutter feed minimizes the load on the sample and the mechanisms of the cutting machine. The machine control system has a well-structured user interface. Such machines are optimal for laboratories that work with a high level of loading.
The VH1100 hardness tester series has a new ergonomic design. Hardness testers can have a varying levels of automation and are equipped with DiaMet universal testing software.
We also presented at the fair a high-speed and reliable SimpliMet 4000 press for mounting of samples prior to grinding and polishing, which is designed specifically for industrial use. To improve the quality of sample preparation, a new mounting compound, EpoKwick FC, is available, which can polymerize within two hours without heating.
In addition, we demonstrate the machines for grinding and polishing, already well-known and proven cutting machines and mounting presses for pressing with epoxy and acrylic mounting compounds, as well as hardness testers for different measurement methods.
Interview: Dmitry Gudilin