OVERVIEW OF THE FLS-I TESTER


The FLS-I is designed for use in field situations where access to advanced laboratory situations is impossible. Such conditions are commonly experienced by ecologists, particularly in the tropics. It is powered entirely from a laptop computer, eliminating any need for another power supply. The tester also functions as a low-cost laboratory mechanical tester for schools and laboratories where rapid testing is required.
This lightweight tester has unsurpassed accuracy in field conditions. It comes with two load cells that can monitor a wide range of forces. An LVDT is built in for displacement measurement and data passes to computer via a 14-bit AD converter. Integral to its design is real-time microscopic imaging of tests synchronized to mechanical data capture. The tester comes with jigs for running a large number of mechanical tests including tension, compression, blunt indentation (for materials in both bulk and membrane form), sharp indentation (to obtain the modulus and hardness of stiff materials), a variety of jigs to make toughness tests and lastly, friction. Software bundled with the tester permits data acquisition from all these tests and provides step-by-step instructions.


WHO SHOULD CONSIDERING THE PURCHASE OF THIS TESTER?


Any ecologist, primatologist or anthropologist interested in feeding or plant-animal interactions could benefit from purchasing this tester. An estimate of the modulus of ripe fruit, which was previously either difficult or impossible to obtain, is now relatively easy. An estimate of the stiffness of leaf tissue is now straightforward.