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The National Composite Center (NCC) now has a materials testing laboratory equipped to meet mechanical, optical and thermal composite testing needs.
The centre’s test lab allows companies to conduct preliminary evaluation of new materials and designs before making a substantial investment in certified testing.
With the centre’s hydraulic test machine, customers can evaluate tensile, compressive, flexural and shear characteristics for loads up to 100,000 pounds in a controlled laboratory environment. Testing at elevated temperatures is also available. NCC’s large scale test machine can accommodate parts up to 16 feet by 54 inches for progressive durability analysis along with fatigue, static and creep testing. This mechanical testing capability is especially suited to parts like bridge deck panels or I-beams, which would otherwise be difficult to evaluate as a complete unit or system. The centre’s experience in development and implementation of innovative test methods and custom fixture design also allows NCC to support requests for tests that do not conform to standardized methods.
NCC’s optical microscope can be used for failure mode analysis and processing quality evaluations. Capabilities include general analysis, particle size verification and void content evaluation as well as services such as specimen mounting and polishing. NCC has also made a significant capital investment in thermal testing equipment. From TA Instruments, NCC’s lineup includes dynamic mechanical, thermomechanical and thermogravimetric analyzers.
In addition, NCC’s Test Lab is a vital component of the centre’s expanding role in nanotechnology. Recent equipment expenditures include a portable ultrafine particle counter to monitor exposure during nanomaterial handling and processing, as well as the capability to measure the thickness of nanomembranes or buckypaper.
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