Celebrating 10 years of testing composites

Posted on 09 Apr 2018 and read 735 times
Celebrating 10 years of testing compositesPort-Talbot-based R-TECH Materials (www.r-techmaterials.com), an award-winning UK polymer and composites laboratory, is celebrating its tenth year of testing composites for the marine industry.

It has worked with several key players in this sector, including Lloyd’s Register — one of the world’s leading providers of professional services for engineering and technology and a maritime classification society.

R-TECH was appointed in 2012 as the exclusive global laboratory for Lloyd’s Register, to test composite samples, components and products to ensure they are suitable for a life at sea.

The company has since conducted over 100 tests for Lloyd’s Register, including failure analysis on corroded water systems from a super yacht; liquid gas pipework and a swing arm from a jetty.

Being inherently light and damage-resistant, composite materials have been used for several decades to manufacture a variety of marine vessels — from the hulls of super yachts to the top side structures of large ships.

There has also been a growing use of composites on military vessels, such as the French La Fayette Frigate and the Swedish Visby-class corvette stealth ship.

By running a variety of laboratory tests, R-TECH’s 22-strong team of engineers, materials scientists and chemists can: characterise the composite material; check if it’s fit for market; identify quality issues; solve processing problems; and determine why a product has failed.

The company can also manufacture ‘hand lay-up laminates’ using exactly the same methods as traditional boat builders, to ensure authentic results.

As well as testing for the marine industry, R-TECH also works with the aerospace and automotive sectors, testing the mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of non-metallic materials, components and products.

These include plastics and fibre-reinforced composites for material approval and characterisation, to identify quality issues, solve processing problems or identify why a product has failed.

The company is also on track to secure aerospace approval from Nadcap this year.

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