Composite testing facility expands in Wales

| Environmental Testing

Zwick mechanical testing equipment at R-TECH

R-TECH Materials takes 250kN testing equipment from Zwick to expand its composite testing capacity.

The modern South Wales laboratory of R-TECH Materials offers comprehensive materials testing, analysis, characterisation and consultancy services covering a wide range of engineering materials.

The company’s polymer and composites testing facility has recently been expanded with the acquisition of a Zwick 250kN capacity universal testing machine which is the first in the UK to operate with the latest Zwick testXpert lll software suite. The intuitive operating software will facilitate the complex testing of composites in a variety of modes, including tensile, compression, flexure, peel, adhesion, tear and cyclic. The software is designed to accommodate hundreds of standard test routines and can also be adapted to satisfy customised test procedures.

The 250kN Zwick universal testing machine is equipped with a thermal chamber to cater for tests at temperatures ranging from  -70°C to +250°C. R-TECH can also pre-condition samples in liquids, controlled humidity or temperature, which are essential to satisfy the needs of the aerospace industry.

The 250kN Zwick test machine has alignment control to meet the latest stringent standards prescribed by the aerospace industry and incorporates a state-of-the-art biaxial extensometer, which includes provision for the determination of Poisson’s ratio.

R-TECH’s Composite Manager, Dr Geraint Harvard, said, “We are delighted with our new Zwick machine, which has not only improved our testing capability but also increased our capacity. Furthermore, we are impressed with the new testXpert III software, which is very intuitive and easy to use. The software changes Zwick have implemented to reduce the number of clicks to test is noticeable and will really speed up testing of large batches. Our investment in the most up-to-date test equipment and the development of our team of highly qualified engineers, materials scientists and chemists has helped us forge our reputation as one of the UK’s fastest growing composites testing laboratories.”

Operating predominantly in the aerospace, marine and automotive sectors, the R-TECH Materials Composites Department tests the mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of non-metallic materials, components and products, including plastics and fibre reinforced composites, for material approval and characterisation, quality control and research and development. Its combination of testing, characterisation and interpretation expertise can also be applied to problem solving, such as product or processing problems or materials failure investigation.

R-TECH says its investment in the 250kN Zwick machine is another example of how the business has invested heavily in its composite capabilities over recent years which explains why its reputation for the accuracy and quality of its testing has been accredited with an ever-increasing scope by UKAS.

Read the Environmental Engineering article on testXpert III software, “Mechanical Test Design without Guesswork”

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