David A. Blau - Cupertino CA
John Meadows - Los Altos Hills CA
Thomas M. Sherlock - Los Altos Hills CA
Fred Stengel - Redwood City CA
Robert M. Studholme - Saratoga CA
Kenneth R. Wada - San Jose CA
Christopher J. Kepner - San Jose CA
KD Group - Mountain View CA
Computer-controlled method and apparatus for automatic melt index testing, including a housing with a base carrying a heater block having a bore therein for receiving a metal cartridge. A cartridge carousel is rotatably carried on the base, and carries a plurality of such cartridges, each cartridge having a plug at the bottom end thereof with a orifice through the plug, and each cartridge having a bore therein for receiving a sample of a test substance and for receiving a piston on top of the pellets. A lift arm grasps the cartridges, one at a time, and places each cartridge into the heater block, under the control of a microcomputer, by both lifting and rotating the transfer arm. The transfer arm includes a solenoid-operated grip for grasping the cartridges.
The test unit carries a lift mechanism with a weight mounted atop a tamping rod, and an optical sensor for determining the height of the weight relative to the lift machinism. The weight is lowered by the lifting mechanism until it bears down upon the pellets, and then the cartridge is heated until the test substance melts.