Element has invested £2.2m to increase its strain-controlled fatigue testing capacity at its Lancaster, UK, laboratory in support of ever-growing demand within the aerospace sector.

Strain-controlled fatigue is a method used to assess the performance of materials under a range of different conditions. Lancaster’s new fatigue frames, supplied by MTS Systems, allow Element to test the strain extent of materials at hot and cold temperatures. As a result of the investment in the 12 new frames, aerospace manufacturers in Europe will have greater and quicker access to comprehensive testing solutions.   

The frames can also be used to perform complex crack propagation, high cycle fatigue, and low cycle fatigue testing, providing customers with the full breadth of strain-controlled fatigue tests. With this latest investment and the expansion of its Toulouse and Pilsen laboratories over the next 12 months, Element will have the largest global capacity to perform this type of testing for the aerospace industry.

Matt Hopkinson, EVP EMEAA at Element, said: “We are really pleased to be able to further support our customers in Europe in improving and developing the latest in strain-controlled fatigue testing in aerospace.

“As aircraft manufacturing moves into an upturn over the next few years, we are pleased to provide high-quality, advanced testing to OEMs across the sector. Element will continue to develop capacity and invest in expanding technologies and capabilities to support the industry’s progression.”

Element Lancaster provides fatigue and fracture mechanics testing, including strain and load-controlled fatigue, crack propagation, and fracture toughness testing. Capability also includes CMC fatigue and creep testing, and digital image correlation.