Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Mechanical Testing Capabilities

Mechanical Testing Capabilities

CCM has a fully equipped testing laboratory devoted to the mechanical characterization of coupon-sized components using industrial standard practices (e.g. ASTM, AMS, Mil-Specs). The lab has a variety of hydraulic and screw driven Instron load frames, two impact towers, and environmental conditioning chambers to conduct tests at various temperatures and humidity levels. Static and fatigue tests can be highly instrumented including standard electronics for recording strain, load and displacement up to 100 channels. Advanced data collection includes full-field displacement and strain measurement using DIC, thermal imaging, high-speed camera, and acoustic emissions testing. Often, non-standard testing of small, sub- and full-scale components is conducted at CCM. In addition to our primary test lab, we have an MTS servo-hydraulic test system and reaction floor available in our Application and Technology Transfer Laboratory off-campus. The lab bridges the gap between the coupon scale on-campus test lab and our high-bay civil engineering structures lab. Here, component sizes can vary between a few feet to entire truck components. The reaction floor is a heavy steel construction with 15” section depth. Also, a 6” x 6” bolting grid over the 8’ x 20’ floor surface is ideal for the constraints required in structure testing of this scale.


Instron 5985 Testing System
Outfitted with the full ensemble of fixtures, grips and T-slot base,
this system has a capacity of 250kN.

Non-Destructive Evaluation Capabilities

CCM’s NDE Group provides standard and customized ultrasonic and vibration based solutions. Standard ultrasonic equipment includes a traditional ultrasonic NDE station consisting of a 6’x 4’x 4’ water immersion tank with multi-axis scanning capability, as well as hand-held point probes. Typical tests include C-scan imaging of flat, slightly-curved and round components with 0.5MHz to 20MHz transducers in pulse-echo or through-transmission. Customized solutions have been developed in conjunction with our industrial partners for automated on-line quality assessment of composite production lines. The newest system is based on a non-contact air-coupled system measuring prepreg quality during actual production. Customized systems are developed and proven in-house to minimize implementation time at our customers location.

CCM is also conducting vibration analysis of large-scale structures using the SIDER (patented by the US Navy) approach. The system not only provides structural vibration properties such as damping coefficient or Eigen frequencies but also provides the user with a 3-D stiffness map of the structure which is used to find internal defects. The system has been successfully tested on various marine and aerospace structures, but also provides the user with a 3-D stiffness map of the structure which is used to find internal defects.

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