Mechanical Testing Facility
The Mechanical Testing Facility supports the teaching and research activities of the University at all levels. Whilst not a test house, the MTF is also able to undertake some consultancy and external work.
The MTF sits across two departments (Mechanical Engineering Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering), and supports work from across the University. Primarily this work sits within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS), but some work with the Vet School and School of Biology and Medical Sciences is also undertaken. The fundamental ethos of the MTF is Materials and Structures Characterisation, with testing from the nano- to macro-scales.
The Mechanical Testing Facility 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 Solution’s VIC-Snap for acquisition and VIC-3D for analysis.