Discovering the Special Equipment laboratory | Istituto Giordano

Discovering the Special Equipment laboratory

(Pubbl. 15/05/2023)
The Special Equipment laboratory is the main player of the new stage of our Labinsight section.

This division has always existed and has allowed us to become the company we are today. In fact, almost all testing equipment in our laboratories has been studied, designed and built by the Special Equipment team. Therefore, everything we do is based on the expertise and solutions of highly qualified personnel working in the field for years.

This laboratory is the glue that binds the activities of all the other departments and serves both internal and external needs: every design, installation or application is carried out following national and international standards or specific customer requirements.

To learn more about the department's specific features, we interviewed its manager, Ing. Francesco Dall'Acqua, for details. Read the interview.

Q: The Special Equipment laboratory, for which you are responsible, is characterised by its ability to create fittings or applications that meet specific needs. What can you tell us about it?

A: Our activities can be summed up in 4 points:
  • Carrying out of non-standard tests for the other divisions and setting up the appropriate equipment. These are very often one-off tests for which the customer cannot find a laboratory with equipment;
  • The construction of test benches and equipment for other divisions of Istituto Giordano and for third parties;
  • Preparation of samples for standard tests, typically tensile tests on materials or welds;
  • Installation, modification and extraordinary maintenance of Istituto Giordano equipment and facilities.
Q: What are the most common types of requests?

A: We receive all kinds of requests covering all sectors, although the transport sector generally accounts for the majority of requests. The most popular individual tests are those for validating railway windows according to various international standards. But there are others, such as:
  • Impact tests with inertial trolleys;
  • Strength tests on aeronautical chassis;
  • Verification of the fire behaviour of gas tanks;
  • Performance tests on sandwich panels;
  • Verification of the conformity of dab pumps for fire protection systems;
  • High-pressure resistance of hydraulic pipes;
  • Thermal cycling of windscreens and windows;
  • Experimental verification of the performance of some air conditioning condensers;
  • Tests on rockfall nets;
  • Strength tests on façade components;
  • Tests on evaporation towers: former Falk steelworks.
Q: What steps do you organise before implementing the machine or test?

A: First, we study the reference standard and conduct a feasibility study. This is the most delicate step, and if the result is positive, we proceed with implementing at least one outline project.
This evaluation is usually followed by a further discussion with the applicant in which we communicate the characteristics of our proposal; if this is accepted, we move on to a more precise design that precedes the equipment's realisation.

Since all equipment is composed of a mechanical and an electronic part, collaboration with the electronic department of Istituto Giordano is essential at all stages.

Below is an example of a particular piece of equipment produced by Special Equipment division: the AAMA functional bench, designed to carry out air and water permeability tests following AAMA 501.1.

The AAMA functional test bench consists of a test chamber, approximately 5.5 m wide and 9.5 m high, with two internal platforms, accessible by stairs for the inspection of the sample, to which a part of the building façade is coupled.

Once coupled to the sample, the chamber can generate cyclic or static pressures and depressions up to a maximum of +10000 Pa and a minimum of -10000 Pa and measure air leakage.

To perform the AAMA tests, the system is integrated with a spray system capable of delivering 3.4 L/(min*sqm) of water and 2 fans capable of generating winds over 120km/h. The smallest is 2 m in diameter and powered by a 160 KW electric motor, while the largest is 4 m in diameter and powered by a 427 KW diesel engine.

For more details see the page.