Mechanical Testing Facility

The Mechanical Testing Facility (MTF) supports the teaching and research activities of the University at all levels. Whilst not a test house, it is also able to undertake some consultancy and external work.


The facility supports work from across the University. Primarily this work is from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, but the School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Biosciences and Medicine also undertake work using the facility.

The fundamental ethos of the MTF is materials and structures characterisation, with testing from the nano- to macro-scales.

Example of output from DIC – here, a notched specimen is placed in four point bending, with the notch in the tensile face. The image shows the intensity of the tensile and compressive forces at the surfaces, decreasing to zero at the neutral axis, but concentrated at the tip of the notch.
Notched Perspex beam in 4-point bending: Strain field determ [...]


The MTF is built around a suite of universal (screw-driven) and servo-hydraulic test frames, allowing us to undertake quasi-static, dynamic and fatigue experiments.

The nature of the frames is such that we can adapt the frame for a particular experiment allowing us to test a range of specimens in tension, compression, flexure and shear. The biggest frame allows us to test up to 1 MN, but the suite is set up to allow us to move load cells, down to 10 N capacity, into the appropriate frame to give us flexibility over window size.

As well as traditional strain gauges and extensometers, we have a suite of cameras with which to undertake digital image correlation (DIC). We use Correlated Solutions VIC-Snap for acquisition and VIC-3D for analysis.

Get in contact

If you have any questions then please get in touch with the Manager of the facility, Dr David Jesson:


Research within our Centre addresses ceramics, polymers and metals, as well as composite materials consisting of two or more of these materials, and explores a range of applications where such materials are being used to bring about improved performance or new products.

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University of Surrey