Universal Book Tester Model 9 – UBT-9

Discontinued but Parts and Technical Assistance is available.


Universal Book Tester Model 9The Moffett UBT-9 is designed to test the durability, that is, it evaluates several aspects of a hardcover binding; the abrasion resistance of covering materials, the integrity of the hinges, the stiffness and resistance to de-lamination of the boards, the durability of the sewn or adhesive bound book blocks.

The device consists essentially of a rectangular test chamber constructed of steel, lined with 50 by 50 mesh of No. 304 stainless steel wire 0.009 inch in diameter. The chamber is supported and rotated by a drive shaft attached perpendicular to the center of its base. Viewed from the front, the drive is inclined at an angle of 20° from the horizontal, and rotates in a clockwise direction at a speed of 20 rpm.

The dimensions of the test chamber vary with the size of the volume being tested, according to the following table:

Internal Dimension of Chamber
(in inches)
Overall Dimensions of Volume to be Tested
(in inches)
Width Ht Depth Width Height
A 13 16 4 5 to 7 7 to 10
B 15 19 4 8 to 10 1O to 13
C 15 15 4 8 to 10 6 to 9
D 11.5 13 4 4 to 7 5 to 6
E 18 23 4 11 to 13 14 to 17

Each chamber is rounded to a 1.5 inch radius along the sides of the bottom to concentrate the abrasive stresses along the edge of the spine of the book. The chamber was designed in this manner to simulate observed patterns of wear.

The Moffett Universal Book Tester Model-9 is Capable of Producing the Following Results:

MOFFETT MODEL 9 UNIVERSAL TEST RESULTS

  1. abrasion of the shoulder of the spine
  2. impact and abrasion of the edges on the head and tail of the spine
  3. abrasion of the covers (edges and corners)
  4. integrity of the joints
  5. breaking, tearing and splitting of the internal hinge structure
  6. occasional failures of the book-block binding, i.e. loosening of the sections if sewn and splitting of the spine if adhesive bound

Machine Description

The tester requires one operator. It has a manual timer adjustable up to 1 hour in length. The tester shuts down automatically at the end of the set timed test. The power required is 110 volt single phase or 220 volt 3 phase as standard. The machine weighs 80 lbs and is desk top in design with a 28 in. x 28 in. foot print.

“IT IS SIMPLY THE MOST RELIABLE TESTING EVER INVENTED,ONE THAT GIVES THE MOST REALISTIC RESULTS TO EVALUATE THE PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE OF BOUND BOOKS.”

— WERNER REBSAMEN, professor emeritus Rochester Institute of Technology facilitator and HBI/LBI technical consultant (Prof. Rebsamen, the former head of RIT’s book testing laboratory, has over 25 years of UBT testing experiences)

Operating Instructions

Control PanelThe operator selects the chamber designed for the specific book to be tested. He/she mounts it to the main machine with the use of the wrench included with the machine. The design is such that the weight of the chamber is supported by the machine itself, requiring the operator to simply tighten only the nuts. The timer can be set for the correct test length. Thereafter, the operator places the book in the chamber with the bound edge on the longest side of the chamber. Power is indicated by the red light being on. This only signifies to the operator that the machine is ready to be started. The main power switch is placed in the “on” position and the test starts. There is an “emergency stop” button next to the timer.

It should be noted that there are no standards in existence for UBT tests. The variables are simply too great. A light weight book with a laminated cover will require extended times of testing, whereas a heavy book with coated paper-stock and bound in cloth, will require only minutes. As an example, when testing a very heavy book with coated paper stock you should turn the machine off after five minutes to examine for potential damages. The operator will then need to be alert to establish the time intervals appropriate to examine the progress made.

Check the following example:

  • Observations after five minutes – slight cover abrasion, no internal damages
  • after 10 minutes – front joints coming loose, increased cover-material abrasion
  • after 15 minutes – joints coming loose, small tear in front endpaper
  • after 20 minutes – front endpaper collapsed
  • after 30 minutes – book block shifting within the cover
  • after 33 minutes – test discontinued, book block and cover separated

Complete Tester with ChambersA lightweight book may tumble for an hour before any damages may be visible. The operator needs to have knowledge of binding structures to make these critical observations. It is important that when testing similiar books, you maintain the same time slots to examine the bindings.

The UBT is designed to make comparison tests between methods of binding, materials and reinforcements.

The UBT Correlates to Actual Usage

The UBT imitates the textural contents in the plane of the closed book when it is standing on its end. Hinge failures do not come so much from the opening and closing actions of the book binding as from the inertia of the contents continuing in the motion after the cover has stopped. The same inertia that catapults a passenger through the windshield of an automobile stopped by an unfortunate collision, produces a tearing effect on the hinge whenever a book is placed on a shelf or a book truck, pushed down a chute, or accidently dropped. Whenever a book is in motion and strikes its outer edges, the stress is more uniformly distributed on the hinge and the result is that tensile and shear forces are those that primarily act upon the hinge. A text block which is made up of slippery, heavily coated paper stock, has much more impact than a volume that is printed on uncoated stock. Therefore, destructive forces are noticeable much more quickly on a book with coated stock than on a light paperback binding.

The spine of the book is perpendicular to the squared ends of the chamber. As the chamber rotates, the book slides in a regulated manner, receiving impact stresses on the bottom, along with the abrasion of the edges and shoulder, and some flexing of the hinges. The principle actions of the UBT are pulling of the head-cap, sliding the book off the shelf, dropping the book on a book truck or a return box, and sliding the book across the table or down a chute!

Such Actions Produce the Following Results:

  1. abrasion of the shoulder of the spine
  2. abrasions of the edges of the cover
  3. light abrasion of the cover surface
  4. distortion by impact
  5. abrasion of the tail-cap and edges
  6. hinge flexing action
  7. breaking and tearing of the internal hinge
  8. failure of sewn or adhesive bindings and splitting of the spine

Observations Made Over the Years

A slippery cover stock often results in a more durable binding. The impact is not as severe. Less damage is done to the hinges and to the text block.

A Moffett side-sewn or books sewn through the folds, are more durable than an adhesive bound hard cover book. A book that is sewn through the fold block flexes on impact in a motion similar to that of a shock absorber. An adhesive bound book is relatively stiff, therefore impacts on its edges and destructive forces may play havoc with the hinges, often resulting in splits.

If a text block is not rounded and backed, a singer-style muslin reinforced endpaper and a wide hinge may prove to be the best choice.

A cloth with a top coating is almost twice as abrasive resistant on bound books as one without the coating.

The UBT is extensively used to compare the durability and performance of sewn and perfect bindings.

The bindery, by simple experimentation can determine within less than an hour how good a binding is prior to making the production run.

These tests are also used to compare different adhesives and other materials before purchasing large quantities.

It is used to evaluate various reinforcements and adhesives and binding techniques, i.e. burst vs. a perfect binding, a one or a two shot binding etc…

PORTIONS OF THE ABOVE HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM
AN ARTICLE ABOUT UBT TESTING PUBLISHED BY

PROFESSOR WERNER REBSAMEN

WE WISH TO THANK HIM FOR HIS INPUT TO DESIGN OUR NEW TESTING MACHINE AND FOR THE DECADES OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE QUALITY OF THE BOOKS PRODUCED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD