New 2.5 Meganewton (MN) test machine

A new Instron 8806 2.5 Meganewton (MN) test machine has been installed at the National Composite Certification and Evaluation Facility (NCCEF) within the Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) at University of Manchester.

NCCEF has been ear-marked to advance and refine fundamental polymer composite testing science in the UK. The machine is the first installation in our new national large-scale composite research facility, and it will be dedicated to fundamental research of composites hygro-thermo-mechanical behaviour.

The 2.5 MN test frame is capable of accommodating up to 2 m long substructures plus a wide range of non-destructive test equipment used to monitor the behaviour of the composite part during testing.

The first project at this new facility is a two-year £5.9 m research collaboration of NCCEF with Airbus UK, the National Composites Centre and Spirit Aerosystems funded through Innovate UK (formerly TSB) and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). (Concept Integration – ‘Wings of the Future’, 2014-2016).

Key issues are the better understanding of subsurface damage formation and the applicability of coupon-derived material data to the design of extended substructures at full scale. In the long term, the new facility will allow NCCEF to supply critical research and development support to multiple strategic primes and first-tier suppliers in the UK aerospace, automotive, marine and wind sectors.

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