In the drive to continue to be class-leading in quality, durability and customer satisfaction, the New Product Development (NPD) department sought to leverage their expertise in the subjective assessment of the optimal tactile characteristics of their Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV) products.
TRVs mount onto central heating radiators to control room temperature and turning the TRVs by hand either increases or decreases the temperature setting. The integral thermostatic component regulates the flow of hot water through the radiator to maintain the desired ambient temperature.
An objective methodology to repeatably measure the 'torque to turn' characteristics of the TRVs rotational control was required.
Mecmesin supplied a Vortex-i computer-controlled torque test system and a selection of fixtures and accessories to grip a range of different valve geometries.
A representative benchmark test rotates the TRV from the minimum temperature setting to the maximum temperature and then returns to the minimum temperature again.
The graphical results clearly show the changing torque level for this full-range angular cycle test. This can be correlated to the engineer’s knowledge of the preferred ergonomic characteristics and feel.
Emperor software enables the curves for various samples to be overlaid for comparison. This analysis provides valuable feedback for the iterative design and manufacturing of the radiator valves.
The comprehensive programming capability of Emperor software also allows NPD to write custom test programs configured exactly to their specific requirements. This gives the versatility to incorporate a unique experience into each product.
The ability to interchange torque sensors also provides the flexibility to maintain the accuracy of the results for future designs which need lower torque values.