“One test result is worth one thousand expert opinions.”
– Wernher von Braun
While reviewing some of our first catalogs, I was curious about the testing we did on those iconic products that launched our company. I found a test report from December 20, 1957 on crinkled yellow paper with a short description: U-29 Download Test. The signature from the independent testing agency was a little faded, and the data was typed by hand in a table. But I was thrilled to discover that our 1957 customers received exactly the same thing as our modern-day customers – the confidence in knowing that our allowable loads are supported by physical testing.
There simply is no substitute for a physical test.
For example, when we recently developed our line of products for use with curtain-wall steel-stud framing, we started product development just as we did in 1957 – not with expert opinions, just a test.
The first few tests were basic bent pieces of metal to isolate critical design features and characteristic performance of the part.
We then did dozens of iterations of physical testing plus scores of simulations using finite element analysis to refine the parts. We varied the rolled edges and embossments, tried different fasteners and adjusted fastener locations until we achieved the best load at the lowest installed cost. After all of that, we tested the final products one more time for the code report.
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