R-TECH Materials has recently expanded its world class mechanical testing expertise into the field of thermal analysis. After seeing a growing trend of customers requiring thermal analysis and with the philosophy of trying to offer their customers a one-stop shop for all their composites testing needs, the UKAS and Nadcap accredited composites testing laboratory has invested in the latest state-of-the-art DMA and TMA equipment from Perkin Elmer. R-TECH intends on applying for UKAS and Nadcap accreditation for these thermal analysis procedures in 2021.
The thermomechanical analyser TMA 4000, which is designed for optimal performance in measuring the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of materials, has been modified especially for R-TECH in order to test between -150°C and +800°C. This gives R-TECH’s customers the widest temperature range for CTE testing in the UK, for diverse sectors such as space, medical and aerospace.
R-TECH has also invested in a DMA 8000 dynamic mechanical analyser for the determination of the glass transition temperature of composites between -190°C and +400°C. This is a well-established technique for determining the degree of cure. The analyser has the capability of changing the loading arrangement, allowing for properties to be determined in single cantilever, three-point bend, tension, compression and shear. This allows for the evaluation of films, fibres, bars or even powder and gels. Equipped with a fluid immersion bath, the DMA can also be used to determine the properties of polymer and composite materials on exposure to various environments, such as would be faced by the composite wrap materials used in the oil pipeline business.
R-TECH Materials Composites Manager Dr Geraint Havard, said “We are delighted to be able to widen our offering into the area of thermal analysis. It has become clear in recent years that this was a service that has been missing from our portfolio. As a business, our aim is to be the UK’s no.1 composites test laboratory in terms of range of accredited testing, quality of reporting, expertise, customer satisfaction and turnaround times. We believe that with this new offering we will be in a position to cater for the needs of most development test programmes in-house, helping us to improve the quality and turnaround times for our customers.”