What can lighting truss hold? We strength test it!

by Shannon on July 26, 2021

VFM Group in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland are putting Titan AV truss to the ultimate test!

Over the coming weeks USQ’s School of Civil Engineering and Surveying will be conducting a series of tests designed to find out exactly what Titan AV Truss is and isn’t capable of doing.

It will be the biggest test of it’s kind ever conducted in Australia.

Rick arriving at USQ's Centre for Future Materials
“We want 100% safety in our truss! We want to know exactly what our product can and can’t do. That way we know exactly what our truss is capable of, where the limits are, and can pass that information onto our customers to ensure the safest outcomes.”

Rick Eckert
Titan AV Product Designer
Rick Eckert, Managing Director at VFM Group

When it comes to truss, there is a lack of clear-cut safety information available in Australia. Truss structures will often hold hundreds, if not thousands, of kilos of weight above audiences, performers, colleagues and customers.

With this type of risk, it’s critical to know with 100% assurance that it's safe to use. More than that, it’s important to know how to safely use truss by understanding its capabilities and intended applications.

“We need to do better! We want to set a new standard that ensures safe practices around using truss in Australia.”

Which is why VFM Group has enlisted the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Civil Engineering and Surveying to run a series of destructive tests on Titan AV truss.

University of Southern Queensland testing Titan AV truss

A destructive test (i.e.: the ultimate strength test) is accomplished by forcing the material to fail under various load factors. Titan AV truss will undergo destructive testing, both horizontally & vertically, at the centre point + where the truss connects to test the end couplers and joins.

Inside USQ's Centre for Future Materials destructive testing Titan AV lighting truss

"We’re going to map out our truss. The idea is to work out exactly where it breaks, what breaks first and then look at improvements for the future. Knowing this critical data, we can accurately assess the safety by calculating load ratings so guys will know at any one time what amount is safe to load. There’s going to be a mountain of data for structural engineers to work with."

Raw material stress strain test facility at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.

"We’re going as far as doing a raw material strain test so we’ll know what the raw material can handle before it's welded up. On top of that we’ll run it through an advanced simulation program which will allow us to input data into real world scenarios for more accurate testing measurements to demonstrate what you can safely do with the truss.”

This study is focused on our most sought after truss, Titan AV 290 box truss. This truss is extremely popular in live production, activations, schools, churches, convention centres and even big retail outlets will install it into their ceilings.

Load testing Titan AV 290 Box Truss at USQ's Centre for Future Materials

290 box truss is more than capable of doing heavy work which will soon become apparent, however all of these tests don’t come cheap.

“This is an expensive and lengthy process, but at the end of the day it’s that peace of mind we’ll have knowing that when we sell a piece of Titan AV truss we’ve done the right thing by our customers and their customers by providing that safety net.

The end goal is to keep everyone safe.”

We will be recording and sharing the results of the load tests and destructive tests next year.


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