A leading aerospace testing laboratory has announced a contract which will see it apply metallurgical expertise to titanium human body implants, as the facility celebrates 10 years in business.

The Plzeň lab in the Czech Republic, operated by global testing group Exova, carried out 75,000 tests on 25,000 different projects last year.

First operating with just one customer, Exova Plzeň has clinched a new contract with one of the leading German medical technology companies operating in the trauma market bringing its customer base to more than 70.

Plzen anniversary 1

Its latest customer, Königsee Implantate GmbH, develops, manufactures and distributes implants and instruments for traumatology, orthopedics and spine surgery, designed to help shorten the healing process.

Exova will be providing mechanical testing, chemical analysis and metallurgy.

The announcement comes as the Plzeň lab celebrates its 10th anniversary, after being formed in 2003 to service a key aerospace testing customer, PCC (Wyman Gordon).

The lab, which operates predominantly in the aerospace sector, has 50 staff and conducts tests including fatigue, fracture toughness and creep and stress rupture. It holds a number of top industry accreditations including Nadcap, and approvals from customers including PCC Group, Boeing, Rolls Royce and Safran.

More than £650,000 has been invested in the lab during the last year, with services introduced including fatigue testing. The lab has also established one of the Exova group’s largest creep labs containing 64 test frames for creep strain and an additional 77 for stress rupture.

Jiri Fidransky, general manager of Exova Plzeň, said: “The last ten years have seen Exova Plzeň expand its capacity to include tests at both room temperature and elevated temperature, testing everything from nickel-based alloys, titanium and aluminium to composites with bespoke testing methods.

“We’ve also grown our customer portfolio substantially, from working exclusively with one major customer a decade ago to having over seventy on our books now.

“While aerospace still accounts for around eighty five per cent of our output, we have also begun to enter new markets, and won a significant contract with Königsee Implantate GmbH which will really help put us on the map and showcase the testing services available for a range of customers.

“The last ten years have been an interesting time for the industry, with advances in technology and materials allowing us to constantly innovate and improve the service our customers receive. I’m looking forward to another successful ten years.”

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