Supporting UK Composites

R-TECH to Showcase Composites Capabilities at JEC World 2017

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) Test Image 35-5: SEM image of failed carbon fibre composite

R-TECH Materials is showcasing its capabilities for composites at this year’s JEC World in Paris. 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.

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.

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.

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 securing 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 Materials Composites Manager, Dr Geraint Havard, said: “R-TECH is delighted to be exhibiting for the second year in a row at JEC.  For a testing and analysis laboratory, composites is such an exciting industry as new materials and applications are being developed almost every day, so never has testing and analysis been more important. We're recognised around the world for our 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 our in-house workshop facilities, we are able to design and manufacture rigs to adapt our test equipment for bespoke testing of both polymer and composite samples along with components and products.”

Visit R-TECH Materials at JEC World, Paris on Stand B75 Hall 6 between 14-16 March 2017.



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