Expert knowledge and a track record
NPL offers measurement and consultancy services via our special to type test rigs and novel/emerging measurement techniques for composites processing. NPL are able to provide measurements and advice on thermal, fluid and physical properties across a wide range of temperatures, pressures and materials. We offer the most accurate and authoritative measurements in the UK, and these results can drive production yield improvements and enhanced product quality.
Properties characterised include:
Thermal analysis: This measurement service enables organisations to understand, with confidence, the thermal performance of their materials and improve their process modelling. We can accurately measure thermal conductivity, heat flow, thermal diffusivity, thermal expansion and material transition (degree of cure and glass transition temperature). NPL leads on the development of standards and also international round-robin benchmarking activities in this area and we offer reference materials with traceability to the UK national standards.
Polymer rheology and viscosity: We characterise the flow properties of polymer melts, solutions and suspensions over a wide range of temperature and testing conditions. Our instruments cover viscous and viscoelastic properties of fluids.
Cure shrinkage: We offer measurement and consultancy services based on our active development of measurement techniques that can accurately capture material and part properties. These results can inform and improve process models and predict final part shape including cure distortion and springback. We can then validate the model via detailed part characterisation.
Prefom and resin characterisation: NPL’s specialist test rigs enable accurate measurement of key resin transfer moulding or vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (RTM/VARTM) process properties, such as in-plane permeability, through-thickness permeability and pre-form compressibility. These measurements can be used to improve process models and also explore online process monitoring strategies. NPL are currently developing best practise via international round-robin benchmarking activities with a view to creating standards in the future.