Creep testing capacity doubles at Exova Plzen

The Czech Republic laboratory operated by Exova, the world’s largest independent testing group, has doubled its capacity for creep strain testing.

The facility, at Plzen, which carries out specialist testing for customers in the global aerospace sector, has invested in additional creep testing frames equipped with industry-leading control systems, which are now fully operational.

The investment is part of an expansion worth more than £500,000 which has increased the floorspace of the lab by 800 sq m with significant refurbishment also taking place.

Exova Plzen was establishedin 2003 and moved to purpose built facilities in 2007 and holds approvals from leading airframe and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) within the aerospace sector. Customers include MTU, Bohler, Otto Fuchs, Snecma and GE.

Jiri Fidransky, general manager of Exova Plzen, said: “Creep testing is essential for our aerospace customers, and this doubling of capacity will mean the Plzen laboratory remains at the forefront of a competitive industry. The new equipment also allows us to increase the range of temperatures we can test at.”

Creep testing is important for customers including aircraft engine and power turbine producers, and allows engineers to design parts which are resistant to both high temperature and stress.

During testing, material behaviour under temperature and load is investigated, with a specimen heated in a furnace and subjected to stress, with strain measured continuously.

The laboratory also specialises in tests including hot and cold tensile, metallography, chemistry and fatigue and fracture toughness.