Composite material characterisation ensures that advanced composite materials meet application performance requirements for intended use in industry

Composites material characterization is a vital part of the product development and production process. Physical and chemical characterisation helps developers to further their understanding of products and materials, thus ensuring quality control.
Our composite material characterisation services ensure that materials comply with strict industry specifications. This applies to the aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical and defense industries amongst others. With the vast array of lay-ups, prepregs, resin systems, adhesives and reinforcements available, understanding the properties and performance of a material is a key concern to suppliers, manufacturers and developers. This applies across the composite supply chain.

Through our global composite teams, we are a one-source solution provider, specialising in pre-screening of materials, specimen preparation, long-term exposure and extensive mechanical characterization to ASTM, ISO, BS or DIN standards using industry-specific methods.
Formulation, Development and Research Support
Our composite experts support your formulation development ensuring that properties meet the specifications required for their intended application.
Intertek has expertise in composite identification and characterization using a variety of spectroscopic, thermal and rheological methods. These techniques are typically used to study curatives, formulations, resins and filled systems, either during processing or as final products. An area of emphasis is our ability to greatly accelerate the material selection process for thermosetting matrices used in composites, especially when compared to traditionally practiced characterization methods.  
Mechanical and Physical Material Characterization
Our physical property testing capabilities include: mechanical, optical, thermal, electrical, exposure, flammability, surface and barrier properties, exposure. We also test for chemical characteristics, including emissions.
Intertek specializes in swift turn of mechanical evaluations using state-of-the-art equipment for mechanical characterization which includes:

  • up to 250kN load cell capacity
  • data precision through reduced bending effects utilizing Align Pro to meet Nadcap accuracy requirements for tension and Hydraulic Composite Compression Fixture (HCCF) for compression
  • high heat extensometers and 8 Channel Strain Gage measurement
  • elevated / reduced temperature chamber testing.

Data provided by our scientists assists clients with understanding complex stress/strain graphs, hardness, toughness, impact resistance, corrosion, dielectric strength, density, electrical conductivity, thermal expansion, ultraviolet degradation and more. This data is used to predict how a product reacts to real-world forces, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects.
Non-destructive testing (NDT) C-scan of Composite Material
NDT pre-scanning verifies the quality of composite material scanning for damage or material inconsistency prior to verification of mechanical properties.  
Specimen Preparation
Specimen preparation is an important step in validating the reliability of materials; helping to ensure consistent, fast manufacturing of composites that are essential in automotive and aerospace applications.  Our experienced machinists maintain parallelism required for rectangular specimens necessary for accurate mechanical data generation using state-of-the-art plate saws.  Tabbing and strain gages round out extensive capabilities for specimen preparation.

Intertek is an accredited, one-stop solution: our ISO 17025 and/or Nadcap compliant laboratory services support large research and design projects, quality control, research and development and problem-solving together with failure analysis for advanced materials and products, ensuring that accurate test results are rapidly attained.

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