A comprehensive range of tests
Our high-quality, bespoke mechanical testing and consultancy services provide customers with the confidence they need that the materials they use are durable and suitable for their intended purpose. We offer a wide range of standardised and non-standardised testing for a variety of different classes of materials (such as composites, polymers, metals, ceramics and adhesives). Each material type has a number of test that best characterise its performance and durability. In general we measure mechanical strength (uniaxial and bend), fatigue, fracture toughness, elastic modulus, residual stress, hardness, creep, ductile brittle transition, and environmental conditioning (thermal, humidity, chemical). We have specialist knowledge on:
Composites and polymers
- In-plane and through-thickness (3-D) properties
- Tension, compression, shear, flexure
- Elastic moduli and strength
- Thin and thick-sections
- Environmental conditioning (thermal, hot/wet, chemical)
- Fatigue (constant and variable amplitude): +/-100 kN
- Hot-wet fatigue (up to 90°C/85% RH)
- Structural (open-hole-tension, open-hole-compression, sandwich constructions, bonded and bolted joints)
- Residual stresses – layer removal, incremental slitting
- Nano/micro modulus, hardness and creep (polymers)
- High temperature nanoindentation
- Adhesive and coating strength
- Strain measurement via strain gauges, digital image correlation, optical fibre Bragg grating sensors
Further information is available in our good practice guides.
Metals and ceramics
- Bespoke and standard uniaxial testing to 1100 °C
- Ambient and high temperature low cycle fatigue
- alignment, elastic modulus, cracking of coatings (combined with AE)
- Isothermal, dynamic temperature / load
- Miniaturised testing
- Small punch
- Electro thermo mechanical tester (ambient to solidus temperature)
- Ductile brittle transition temperature
- 4 and 3-Point bending of coatings
- Temperatures up to ~1000 ºC
- Scanning Indentation Microhardness Measurement
- Hardness – Vickers, Rockwell, Brinell, Knoop indentation
- Nano indentation, micro pillars and beams
- X-ray diffraction
- Phase ID, hot stage, residual stress
If standard test samples cannot be manufactured because of insufficient material, such as when testing alloys from a thin walled product for instance, we have developed the electro-thermal mechanical testing machine (ETMT) which enables complex mechanical tests on very small test-pieces up to their solidus temperature.
The system has a maximum force capability of 4 kN, and tests can be performed on electrically conducting materials up to the melting point, so long as the test-piece does not sag significantly. Phase changes are readily detected by changes in resistivity. It has been used on a very wide range of hardmetals, cermets and metal alloys, including nickel, titanium and iron based systems.
Uncertainties in mechanical testing (UNCERT)
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.
Find out more about NPL's Uncertainties in mechanical testing (UNCERT)
Don’t see what you are looking for? Our diverse skill set enables us to provide bespoke solutions. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.