Composite Materials | Industrial Laminates | Machined Components | Composite Tubes

Testing testing

Matt D'Arcy

Attwater adds to extensive testing toolkit

Attwater, the industrial laminates specialist, has expanded its in-house testing facility with the construction of a furnace-hardened steel fixture.

The apparatus has been designed and built to test gasket materials, and adds another dimension to the company’s facilities which already boast more than 30 methods of testing materials and components.

The new equipment allows tests to be performed to the ASTM F36 standard, which measures compressibility and recovery.

These values are linked to understanding the performance of a material as a gasket. It is often used in characterising metal-cored, and other, gasket materials which are used in the oil and gas sector - a key market for the company.

Attwater technical controller Matt D’Arcy was the main driving force behind the recent addition, drawing on his experience contributing to the International Electrotechnical Commission where he represents the British Standards Institute. Matt’s work helps maintain and develop national and international standards, and he was also recently invited to attend the AGM of the European Electrical Insulation Manufacturers association in Berlin.

Matt said: “As with many of our testing facilities, the new fixture was installed as a result of customer demand. The companies we work with require products and materials to be engineered to exceptionally high standards, and that can require any number of tests to be undertaken.

This test rig adds another capability that will help our customers better understand the materials they’re working with.”

Attwater’s expansive testing facilities cover mechanical tests, including tensile strength, impact resilience and hardness; electrical testing such as insulation resistance and high voltage breakdown; thermal testing including melting points and expansion; and an exhaustive list of many more besides.

In addition, Attwater also has four new lab ovens on order which will be used to determine the Temperature Index (maximum operating temperature) of materials.

Matt added: “Customers come to us with the widest variety of requests and we consider them all, even if we don’t already own the testing equipment. We’re continually investing in expanding our offer.

Furthermore, our vast experience with national and international standards and customer specifications, past and present, allows us to accurately interpret our customers’ requirements – and even support them when their own experience is limited.”