The ASTC provides specialist testing services to a wide range of research projects across the AMRC and its partners.
Classification of mechanical properties of additive layer manufacturing
We conducted a series of 405 tests to measure the performance of 11 different materials produced by additive layer manufacturing. The materials were tested for tensile strength, flexural stiffness and impact resistance in three orthogonal directions of part build. The customer used the results to evaluate the materials’ performance for aerospace applications.
The ASTC provided testing of lugs, actuator rods and braces in innovative landing gear systems, as part of a large collaborative research programme led by Airbus and funded by the Technology Strategy Board. The Integrated Wing project involved the manufacture of various demonstrator components which were tested under service conditions for static strength and fatigue life durability.
As the test partner, we tested full-scale components to a maximum load of 130 tonnes. We also carried out fatigue testing of six weeks’ duration, using a fatigue spectrum of a complex flight-by-flight loading sequence based on real-world on-aircraft data.
Run-flat tyre testing
The ASTC worked with Runflat Systems Ltd and Performance Engineered Solutions on a project to develop a new vehicle run-flat insert system.
We carried out static load and cyclic fatigue testing, to prove the concept and investigate potential failure modes.
One of the AMRC’s partner companies asked the ASTC to evaluate the performance of structural composite panels, to validate new analysis models.
We compiled a test procedure under our ISO17025 in-house methods UKAS accreditation. We designed and fabricated rig fixtures, which were validated by the partner. The ASTC always ensures that any new test set up, rig function and applied loads are validated and agreed with customers before starting tests, to help reduce costs and ensure accurate repeatable results.
Because of the high value of the part being tested, it was important to gain as much information about the specimen as possible. While the test was being conducted, we worked with specialist partners to obtain digital image correlation (DIC) of the panel deflection, high speed video capture of the test failure, and shearography and real-time lamb wave analysis.
We also manage extended test programmes to determine design allowables for advanced materials. Programme features include:
- 500+ specimens.
- Tensile testing (ASTM E8M 5D basis).
- Fatigue testing (raw material curve development and strain control).
- Fracture toughness (compact tension specimen).
- Stress corrosion.
- Compression (ASTM E9).
Future testing programmes include:
- High strain rate capability – working with the AMRC Process Technology Group.
- Additional corrosion-resistant steel testing – featuring more specimens, with modulus of rupture testing on tubes.