Resources and facilities

Composites Manufacture

Our laboratories are equipped with a range of manufacturing and test equipment:
  • Aeroform autoclave (400°C, 14 bar).
  • Bipel/Bytec 40 tonne hydraulic press with hot platens up to 400°C.
  • Composite Integration Ciject® One resin injection machine for polyester or epoxy.
  • Composite Integration one-metre square glass fronted heated/cooled mould tool.
  • Vacuum and conventional ovens.
  • PhoCheck Tiger PID Datalogging Monitor Standard.
  • SNOL 9/1100 vented muffle furnace for burn-off.
  • Brookfield R/S-CPS rheometer with Peltier temperature controller.
  • Flow Mach2 water and abrasive jet cutting system (1.3 x 1.3 m work envelope).
  • UltrapierceTM assembly for composites.
The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business has a Formech 686 vacuum forming machine.

Mechanical testing

We can test materials and components on a range of accredited laboratory machines. 
Test programmes can be either quick stand-alone evaluations, composites 'forensic' work, or form part of a wider programme of work involving design or optimisation. 
Our Structural Integrity Laboratory has a range of machines for tension/compression, torsion, fatigue and creep including:
  • Avery/Instron 1000 kN universal testing rig*
  • Instron 5582 screw-driven 100 kN universal test machine
  • Instron 3345 screw-driven 5 kN universal test machine
  • Instron ElectroPuls 3000 3 kN dynamic electromagnetic fatigue machine
  • Instron MDS 666C high temperature chamber
  • Instron high temperature 4-point bend rig
  • Dantec Q-400 digital image correlation system
* The Avery/Instron 1000 kN universal (tension/compression/bending) testing machine has ~1.1 m daylight and 120 mm long wedge-action grips (for round bars up to 25 mm diameter, or 100x18 mm plate) for tension specimens; bending beam test spans can be up to 4.5m (load restricted to 500 kN at full span).

Rapid Prototyping

The Faculty has:
  • a 100 watt laser cutter/engraver with a 1 metre square bed.
  • Creality Ender 3 Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printers: - 220 x 220 x 250 mm print bed, ±0.1 mm tolerance using PLA, non-soluble support material (4 machines).
  • Markforged Mark 2 professional Continuous Carbon Fiber 3D polyamide printer: - 320 x 132 x 154 mm print bed, 100-200 μm print resolution, non-soluble support material 
  • Stratasys Dimension 1200es: advanced industrial-standard FDM machine compatible with STL for ABSplus with a build area of 254 x 254 x 305 mm and 1200es BST (breakable support) or 1200es SST (soluble support).
  • NextEngine laser 3D desktop scanner
The Advanced Digital Manufacturing And Innovation (ADMI) Centre has a range of first phase facilities located on the Plymouth Science Park.
The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business has complementary facilities in their Digital Fabrication Laboratory

Materials characterisation and non-destructive testing

The moisture meters are held in the Faculty Project Store (SMB310) and can be booked out via the Smarthub booking system.

Microscopy and surface quality assessment

The School of Marine Science and Engineering has a suite of microscopy and surface analysis equipment including:

Complementary facilities on the South West peninsula include