New investment in automated fatigue ladder testing equipment

The Test & Research Centre is announcing new investment into automated fatigue ladder testing equipment. It has been designed for cyclic ladder testing for products up to nearly 6m tall. With the new machine, T&R will be able to test and certify ladders to BS EN 131 on behalf of manufacturers, suppliers, importers and regulators. 

6th August 2020

Ladder Durability Testing Machine

Standing ladders are more commonly known as step ladders or swing back steps. Where these ladders are made to BS EN 131, they must pass the durability test in BS EN 131-2. 

The test places a load of 1500N (150kg) on two separate treads, one after the other. The cycle is then repeated 10,000 times for non-professional ladders and 50,000 times for professional ladders. 

Using this machine, the test will take just over 22 hours to complete for a non-professional ladder. However, for a professional ladder it takes over 111 hours! In other words, that is a lot of durability in every BS EN 131 standing ladder.

The machine has been designed in house due to its bespoke nature. The control system and actuators are coming from a specialist cyclic testing company in Germany. It uses load and distance controlled  actuators connected to a PC based control system. Moreover, it can apply up to 4kN (400kg) with up to 500mm of travel.

Investing to help clients

“Investing in greater testing capability is a key strategy for the Test & Research Centre” said its General Manager, John Darby.

“This equipment means we can undertake standing ladder testing in accordance with BS EN 131-2. In addition, it enables us to issue T&RGETMARK Certification for standing and combination ladders. Which further expands on our BS EN 131 services for leaning ladders.”

“Testing is a vital part of product safety and particularly for ladders. As product failure can lead to serious injury. Above all, when ladders earn their T&RGETMARK, it shows they meet or exceed the standard.”

“We’re proud to play our part in helping users identify ladders that conform to BS EN 131.”

ladder testing

The machine is due to be complete and installed during September, with product testing starting in October 2020.

After that, phase 2 development of the machine is in planning. This will enable further testing of telescopic ladders to BS EN 131-4 and multi-hinge joint ladders BS EN 131-6.

How can The Test & Research Centre help?

Based on our knowledge and experience of the ladder industry, we can help ladder producers with T&RGETMARK product certification to BS EN 131.

If you are a manufacturer, supplier or importer looking at product testing and certification to BS EN 131, contact us for a friendly chat about how we can help.