R-TECH Materials, a rapidly growing UK composites testing business, is celebrating after a 15-fold increase in visitors to its stand at JEC World, and receiving 10 concrete enquiries.
Dr Geraint Havard, R-TECH’s Composites Manager, said: “This is the second year we’ve exhibited at JEC and it’s been our best year yet! Of the visitors that came to our stand and gave us their cards, 80% were new business leads. The remainder were people we already work with. It’s great to see that the investments we’ve made recently to expand our composites testing labs and increase our capability is reaping rewards when it comes to new business opportunities. With this sort of return on investment, we’ll definitely be exhibiting at JEC World next year!”
Whilst at JEC, R-TECH ran a competition to win a bottle of Penderyn double malt Welsh whisky which was won by David Kendall of Hampshire-based Optima Projects - a specialist consultancy which has over 30 years international experience in advanced engineering design, analysis and FRP composite materials.
Based in South Wales, R-TECH’s polymer and composites laboratories test the mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of non-metallic materials, components and products for manufacturers and end users. These include plastics and fibre reinforced composites for material approval and characterisation, to help identify quality issues, solve processing problems or identify why a product has failed.
R-TECH has recently invested heavily to expand its composites testing labs, which includes the first Zwick universal testing machine running on TestXpert III software in the UK. This investment has opened up the capability of testing materials at loads from 1N to 250kN in the temperature range of -70°C to 250°C, with thermal chambers provided by Severn Thermal Solutions. In addition, R-TECH’s high-tech laboratories boast a state-of-the-art Hirox digital microscope and Zeiss Scanning Electron Microscope with EDX micro-analysis for delivering failure investigation and characterisation solutions.
The testing laboratories have the capability to test complex orientations to loads up to 1500kN. Standard tests include lap shear, in-plane shear, climbing drum peel, shore hardness, compression of core materials and shear properties of sandwich panels, not to mention fatigue testing (in tension or in bending) at loads of up to 100kN. Furthermore, R-TECH can offer its customers bespoke testing thanks to its combination of state-of-the-art biaxial extensometry with strain gauging capabilities.
Operating across a wide range of materials and industries, including aerospace, marine and automotive, R-TECH is accredited to perform testing in tension, compression, flexure, shear and hardness to ISO and ASTM standards under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. Laminates can be prepared and samples machined in-house to customer requirements by skilled technician staff. The laboratories provide humidity, temperature and liquid chambers for sample conditioning. R-TECH’s reputation for the accuracy and quality of its testing has been recognized by UKAS which recently awarded R-TECH accreditation for 13 new test standards. The company is also adding further testing standards in 2017 as well as applying for approval from the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (Nadcap).
The R-TECH team of highly qualified engineers, materials scientists, and chemists are experienced at solving materials problems and running research and development programs. Lloyd’s Register have recognised R-TECH’s testing expertise and have appointed them as their global laboratory partner, providing testing services in the field of non-metallic materials and collaborating on common research themes.
R-TECH is recognised around the world for its fast and reliable independent testing and can handle any job, from a simple one-off set of tests to larger scale research and development projects. Thanks to its in-house workshop facilities, it can design and manufacture rigs to adapt its test equipment for bespoke testing of both polymer and composite samples along with components and products.