Measurement for Quantum - M4Q
Measurement for Quantum - M4Q

Mechanical Test Facility

Standard and bespoke testing of advanced materials

Our new, state-of-the-art Mechanical Test Facility (MTF) confirms NPL as the UK’s centre of excellence for materials assurance. The MTF is furnished with a comprehensive range of world-class mechanical test equipment from NPL’s partner Instron, to allow us to address the current, emerging and future requirements of research and industrial application.

This facility, combined with NPL’s extensive expertise in materials characterisation and assurance, provides a unique capability for research and commercial testing services covering a broad range of advanced materials such as composites, metals, ceramics, additive manufacturing and coatings.

We offer traceability to national standards and extremely accurate measurements over a wide range of loads and conditions. Our expertise in uncertainty measurement ensures industry can have confidence in our test results.

Underpinning virtual testing

Digitalisation of the MTF ensures that NPL is at the forefront of materials data analytics and uncertainty analysis that can support virtual product assurance, enable variable fidelity simulation and innovative analysis processes. This digitalisation of the laboratory supports Industry 4.0 through the development of cyber-physical platforms to reduce the number of physical test iterations for materials assurance.

Find out more about MTF testing equipment

Comprehensive Test Capabilities

How materials perform is critical to the success of new and updated products. Industry needs to be sure that new materials will function in the way they expect and that any traditional materials used in new ways will not fail in service, even in extreme conditions.

NPL experts work with a comprehensive suite of mechanical tests, non-destructive evaluation, thermal analysis and modelling techniques to help clarify requirements, interpret results and solve problems for customers. Through this, we provide customers with detailed, independent analysis to accelerate development, increase both the performance and quality of products and identify the root cause for any failures in materials, products or structures.

As the UK's National Measurement Institute, you can be sure that everything we deliver will be trustworthy and impartial. We give businesses the increased confidence they need when evaluating and predicting the performance of their materials through the full life cycle.

Find out more about our testing capabilities

Strategic Research to Support Industry

 Our aim is to provide assurance for advanced engineering materials, with the focus on three material types and the underpinning physical measurement technologies.

Composites                                               Additive manufacturing                              Coated materials

Products and services           Products and services            Products and services

Advanced Materials


Tackling uncertainties in mechanical testing 

UNCERT is a project partly funded by the EC's Standards, Measurement and Testing programme, developed codes of practice for treating uncertainty in mechanical testing.



Case study

Providing the confidence to use composites in new applications


Case study

Using polymer composites in offshore environments with confidence


Case study

Improving damage detection in nuclear reactor cores


Case study

Lean manufacturing and assembly technologies


A new series of technical webinars

We provide technical webinars on advanced materials characterisation which you can watch from your desk.
Find out about upcoming webinars or view past webinars.

Advanced Materials Characterisation webinars 

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070