On January 28, in the first part of the Cases Secure in Movement Project, organized by the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage of the University of Pavia in the person of Dr. Fabio Perrone, in collaboration with Musafia Cremona Italy, four professional-quality violin cases of different manufacturers but with the same general characteristics (oblong shape, wood laminate shell) were tested for crush resistance.
Testing was performed by the Laboratory for Transport Safety (La.S.T.) of the Polytechnic University of Milan (POLIMI), partner in this project – and the only lab outside of the U.S.A. certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Although closed to the public, the event was televised, in part live, by Cremona Studio1.
In this first test, cases first were measured to determine the space between the bridge of the violin inside and the inside of the lid above it. Then the cases were subjected, with the violin removed, to increasing pressure on the lid above the bridge via a computer-monitored hydraulic press until the lid was deformed by that same measurement, in order to determine the maximum load bearing capacity of each case without involving the instrument inside.
The four cases, despite their similarities, produced quite different results with only two offering a load-bearing capacity similar to that of the average human weight (76 kg. - BMI Quetelet Formula). Of those two, one case weighed 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and the other a whopping 4.0 kg. (8.8 lbs.), suggesting that weight by itself is not a deciding factor in crush resistance.
The next scheduled testing will perform the same resistance test again on professional quality cases, but with shells made of different materials: carbon fiber, high-density foam, thermo-formed plastics and other such materials currently used for violin case manufacture, and heavily advertised for their alleged qualities.
The other partners of this project are AXA Art (multinational insurers); CSQA Certificazioni (certification agency); Institute of Superior Education “Antonio Stradivari” - International Violin Making School of Cremona; Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostics (University of Pavia).
Once this crush resistance testing is completed on all the cases, the results will be published, and research will continue into the next phase.
I’m posting this to keep v.comers aware of what’s going on at a scientific level in the field of safety and instrument cases!
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