The HTF currently offers rigs capable of testing materials at temperatures up to 1000°C (higher in some circumstances), and with temperature cycling in a range of novel, demanding environments (pressurised gas for VHTR/HTR, liquid metal for SFR/LFR, inert atmospheres). Recent projects have involved fatigue and creep fatigue testing of austenitic stainless steel in liquid lead (Pb) at 600°C and fracture testing of pressure vessel steels.
We have the capacity and expertise to incorporate specialised, bespoke equipment into tests to allow the construction of innovative experimental configurations for research organisations. All of the HTF equipment is held within a temperature- and humidity-controlled laboratory, to maximise data stability over long-term tests.
The HTF team includes engineers, materials scientists, chemists and structural integrity specialists, who can help research organisations to interpret test data and design solutions to the most complex problems.
The testing offered by the HTF includes, but is not limited to:
• Tensile testing (loads up to 100 kN in tension and compression)
• Fracture testing (loads up to 250 kN and in the temperature range -1000 to 1000°C)
• Creep strain / rupture (loads up to 30 kN)
• Impression creep testing (deadweight-loaded)
• Creep crack growth (loads up to 30 kN)
• Strain and load-controlled low cycle fatigue initiation (loads up to 100 kN in tension and compression)
• Fatigue crack growth (loads up to 100 kN in tension and compression)
• Creep-fatigue initiation / growth (loads up to 100 kN in tension and compression)
• Thermo-mechanical fatigue initiation / growth (loads up to 100 kN in tension and compression)
• Miniaturised tensile / creep / fatigue testing (loads up to 10 kN)
• High cycle fatigue endurance / crack growth (up to 100 Hz test frequency and loads up to 10 kN).
To enable detailed analysis of tests, the rigs can be equipped with the following analytical instrumentation:
• Digital image correlation (DIC) for full field strain measurement (especially useful where welds are present), including microscopic capability
• Acoustic emission monitoring equipment for monitoring crack initiation and propagation
• Potential difference monitoring equipment for monitoring crack initiation and crack growth.