Facilities at the Institute of Structural Materials

We have many forms of standard mechanical property assessment whilst at the same time addressing bespoke forms of specimen or sub-element testing where novel test development is required.

Our laboratories offer an extensive range of static and dynamic test rigs including:

ISM facilities

Static and Fatigue Testing

Mechanical Testing Machines

46 servo-hydraulic/servo electrical fatigue rigs covering:

  • Uni-axial tension-compression 9up to +/-250kN dynamic, +/-400kN static
  • Bi-axial tension-torsion (100kN tension/ 400Nm torsion)
  • Thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF)
  • Frequencies: from static/dwell loading up to 100Hz
  • Four electro-resonance machines for High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) assessments up to 200Hz
  • 2 servo-hydraulic machines for compression flow stress evaluation under low (10-4 sec-1) and high (50 sec-1) rate high temperature conditions to 1250oC, with facilities for testing under vacuum
  • Gleeble thermo-mechanical simulators for TMF, welding and bonding research in air, inert gas and vacuum conditions

Environmental Control

In conjunction with the above machines, the following hardware is available to enable testing in a variety of controlled environments:

  • Conventional radiant furnaces/ovens: minus 60oC to 1400oC
  • Vacuum chambers: controlled partial pressures or hard vacuum to 10-6 mbar
  • Gaseous atmospheres (hydrogen, argon etc)•Salt fog cabinet, corrosion fatigue conditions
  • Aqueous baths
  • Autoclaves capable of 2 bar pressure, 120oC maximum temperature with control of oxygen and chlorides to parts per million (ppm)
  • Hot sulphidation chambers

Procedures and Monitoring

Monotonic properties, low and high cycle fatigue (LCF/HCF) and fatigue crack growth can all be evaluated employing in-house procedures based upon British and International standards. Methods of monitoring fatigue deformation and crack development include:

  • Pulsed DC and AC potential drop systems
  • Automated optical records
  • Replication media
  • Bulk strain accumulation (extensometry) and localized plasticity (strain gauges)