Putting NORMA Clamps and Connectors to the Test

January 2020

At NORMA, we know that a simple clamp failure can be a potential disaster so we constantly cycle our products through rigorous tests to make sure that doesn’t happen out in the real world. At our R&D facility right outside the heart of the Motor City, our team of researchers use special equipment to test everything from radial load and tensile strength to corrosion and temperature resistance that mimics conditions experienced in real-life applications.

Radial Load and Tensile Strength Testing

As an ISO 17025 accredited lab, we use a modified lathe yoke to test the radial load of our clamps. It contains six load cells that accurately measure clamping force at various torque levels. If it can’t hold the hose tight enough it could separate and cause leaks, which we never want to see happen.
Another machine we house in our lab, called an Instron, can actually measure the force it takes to physically pull apart a clamp. We do this to show that the superior metallurgy in NORMA clamps and connectors really gets the job done in the toughest conditions. The welds on a NORMA clamp tend to be much more robust than competitive products because we want to make sure the clamp won’t fail no matter what kind of vibration, corrosion or environmental conditions it’s exposed to. Check out how our clamps perform against both radial load and tensile strength testing in part 1 of our R&D video series.

Corrosion and Temperature Testing

Ocean vessels create an incredibly tough environment for a clamp. Not only do clamps have to handle ongoing vibration from marine power plants, the constant pounding from waves can shake loose just about anything. But ocean environments aren’t the only concern. On land, there are 18 states that use calcium chloride (rock salt) to melt snow and ice on the roads in the winter. Couple this with cold temperatures and pot holes, and a typical hose or muffler clamp is exposed to extremely harsh conditions. That’s why we put all our clamps through a 240-hour salt and humidity test using a salt spray chamber. The test consists of both a salt spray and salt vapor at various temperatures to be sure a clamp can endure any conditions on the road or in the water.

Lastly, we conduct intense temperature testing. That’s because the application many clamps and connectors are used in is hotter than most people think. Some environments reach anywhere from 1,200 – 1,600°F but then are also exposed to extreme cold just moments later, all while being bounced around on a hose that is constantly vibrating – be it on an aircraft or a semi-truck. That’s why our internal temperature test runs at elevated  temperatures for hours at a time, while being vibrated at different frequencies to check connection integrity. Our machine raises and lowers temperatures to simulate real-world conditions. To see how NORMA clamps stood up to both these tests, check out part 2 in our R&D video series.