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Specimen Preparation

The high-quality preparation of composite samples for mechanical testing is very important in the delivery of accurate and consistent test data. We take great care to ensure that the preparation of your samples is done to even the tightest tolerances outlined in standards.

We have in-house machine shop facilities to prepare samples. We also have the expertise to fabricate laminates to the specifications that you require. From laminate fabrication to sample preparation, we have the expertise to give you confidence that you will get results of the highest accuracy from our labs. An outline of our capabilities for sample preparation  is given below.

 

Laminate Manufacture

There are many methods used in industry to manufacture a polymer matrix composite and it is very important that for the purposes of mechanical testing, laminates are high-quality and consistent. Our composite technicians are experienced in manufacturing test panels from glass fibre and polymer resins by wet lay up, spray up and vacuum in fusion.

Where laminate manufacture of carbon fibre composites is required we can deliver vacuum infusion, or prepreg layup in-house. We also work alongside strategic partners to complete laminate preparation by hot pressing, autoclave or other methods that you may need.

 

Cutting and Machining

Our in-house machine shop is manned by highly skilled engineers experienced in the preparation of non-metallic, composite and metal samples. The workshop is equipped with diamond-coated tooling, surface grinding, drilling and milling machines which can be used for the preparation of regular and irregular composite test specimens.

Test Sample Preparation

Once a laminate has been cut and machined, the specimen will be prepared for testing. For tensile and some compression tests this will include tabbing the ends of the sample to reduce the risk of failure in the grip (see article below). We have also developed strain gauging techniques as part of our specimen production process as seen in the picture to the left.

Polishing for Microscopy

With our range of manual and state of the art automatic polishing equipment, we are able to produce micro and macro sections of the highest quality for microscopy. This is especially important when evaluating the fibre volume fraction of a material or carrying out first part qualification work for the aerospace sector.