- Specimen preparation laboratory
- Heat treatment facilities, ovens, muffle furnaces and tubular furnaces
Facilities are available for testing materials and components at temperatures down to 1K in accordance with European and US Standards.
Tests can also be devised to evaluate the properties of finished components at low temperatures.
Tests can be routinely performed to determine:-
- thermal conductivity
- thermal contraction
- tensile/compressive/shear strength and modulus
For example, on homogeneous materials, composite materials, foam insulation systems and adhesives.
The main area of expertise is focused on light metals and metal composites, and the experimental facilities available include those of the Southampton Electron Microscopy Centre:
- Transmission Electron Microscopy (Jeol 3011)
- High resolution Electron Microscopy (Jeol 6500 FEG-SEM)
- Electron Backscatter Diffraction (HKL system)
All instruments are equipped with chemical analysis through energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS/EDX) and are some of the best in the South of England.
In all cases sectioning and sample preparation are available. Highly-skilled staff are available to operate the equipment and if required conduct in-depth analysis of the results.
Further analysis and testing that can be used in conjunction are:
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (Perkin Elmer Pyris 1)
- Image Analysis
- Optical Microscopy
- Mechanical testing
Follow the link below for further information including machine specifications, charges and how to make a booking:
- Instron 250kN and 100kN twin screw mechanical testing machines
- Instron 100kN servohydraulic mechanical testing machines
- High temperature vacuum chamber for Instron mechanical testing machines
- Crack monitoring equipment including acoustic emission, ultrasonic, potential drop, crack compliance and direct surface replication
- Rotating and reverse plane bend fatigue test machines
- Charpy impact test facilities
- Izod impact test facilities for polymers
- Vickers/Brinell hardness test machines
- Rockwell hardness test machine
- Vickers/Knoop microhardness test machine
- Drop weight impact test facilities, impact energies up to 50 J
X-ray computed tomography provides precision 3D internal imaging of materials and structures, with the facility for in-situ analysis under mechanical, electrical and environmental loads. When an object is imaged many times in different orientations, the internal 3D structure of the sample may be extracted and reproduced.
The School of Engineering Sciences owns an X-tek Systems ‘Benchtop CT’ (25-160kV operation, 60W) with a maximum scan area of 100x100mm. Feature recognition is extremely small at 1micron and images can be manipulated using specialist 3D software such as Volume Graphics, VG Studio Max and Amira.
X-ray attenuation is calculated at all points within a volume to create a 3D model of the components. The results can be used to aid non-destructive inspection; internal metrology of complex structures and components; detect and measure voids/internal volumes; FE mesh generation; in-situ service analysis of materials and components.
At temperatures over the range 1.8K to 400K in magnetic fields up to 9Tesla, we can offer the determination of:
- thermal conductivity
- specific heat
- ac losses
- Photovoltaic test and reference facility (STaR) for grid-connected system: testing and certification of inverters to G77/G83
- Solar cell characterisation laboratory
- Pin-on-disc wear test rigs
- Micro-abrasion wear test facility
- Erosion test facilities using sonic air/sand and water/sand
- Wire-line wear testing
- Bearing Tests Facility