Test Type

Quasi Static

Quasi-static (slow rate) materials testing is necessary for mechanical property characterisation and for the development of material models that can be used within finite element analysis studies. 

Many properties can be determined under quasi-static conditions with the use of appropriate standard or bespoke fixtures.  For example, polymeric material properties that can be measured by Element include:
  • Tensile (modulus, yield stress, tensile strength, elongation at break)
  • Compressive (modulus, strength)
  • Shear (modulus, strength)
  • Biaxial stress vs. strain
  • Poisson's ratio
  • Bulk modulus/constrained compression
  • Flexure (modulus, strength)
  • Bearing strength
  • Fracture toughness / tear
  • Creep/stress relaxation
  • Adhesion (e.g. rubber to metal bonding performance)
Element has numerous test machines capable of performing quasi-static materials testing at loads in the range of 10N to 250kN and temperature in the range of -80°C to +250°C. A range of load cells and strain measurement methods are available on site, to suit the wide range of material responses.The properties of components and structures can also be determined under quasi-static conditions with appropriate fixtures and are often compared with the dynamic performance of the part (e.g anti-vibration mounts). Quasi-static testing of components is used to qualify the components against a specification or to aid in product development process.

test type


Fatigue is the response of a material or component to a cyclic excitation, typically a mechanical displacement or load.  Examples of material fatigue tests that can be performed at Element Hitchin include:

Rubbers (elastomers)
  • Pure shear tests (crack growth)
  • Simple extension (crack growth, threshold definition)
  • Uni-axial tension (S-N data for crack initiation)
  • High frequency dynamic effects
  • Equi-biaxial tests (crack initiation, S-N data)
  • Interlaminar fracture testing utilising all specimen types e.g. DCB, 4ENF, MMB
  • High cycle fatigue testing using multi-station approach
  • Tensile/compression and flexural fatigue
Adhesive systems
  • Lap shear (double and single)
  • Reinforced Double Cantilever Beam (RDCB)
  • Mixed mode tests using Flexural Peel (FPS)
  • ‘Structural’ tests such as ‘top-hat’, H-structures (e.g. automotive steel monocoque), T-structures (e.g. automotive spaceframe)
  • Simple extension (S-N)
  • Compact tension (Crack growth)
Fatigue tests on components/products include:
  • Anti-vibration components for automotive, rail, oil & gas, marine and civil engineering (mounts, bushes, hangers etc)
  • Bonded structures
  • Medical devices and implants
  • Inflatable dams for irrigation schemes
  • Aircraft canopy and windscreen seal crack growth studies
  • Rotor components fabricated from composite materials
  • Aircraft landing gear, brakes and seals
  • Radar domes fabricated from sandwich structures
  • Rocket motor propellants performance
  • Aero engine seals and components
  • Torsional testing of automotive and aerospace drive shafts
  • Changes in load profile of medical devices through fatigue and wear
  • Understanding fatigue failure of automotive hydro-mounts and replicating the failure on a test rig
  • Rail pads in bi-axial shear/compression

test type


Element are experts in the fracture testing of composites, adhesives and elastomers. 

The tests we deliver include:Elastomers
  • Pure shear tests (internal procedure)
  • Simple extension (internal procedure, threshold definition)
  • Mode I fracture toughness of adhesively bonded joints using Double Cantilever Beam and Tapered Double Cantilever Beam Specimens (ISO 25217, ASTM D3433)
  • Mode II fracture toughness of adhesively bonded joints (ISO 15114)
  • Mode I crack onset of growth and growth (based on ASTM D6115)
  • Mode I fracture toughness (ASTM D5528, ISO 15024)
  • Mode II fracture toughness (C-ELS method to ISO 15114; ENF method to ASTM D7905)
  • Mixed Mode I/II fracture toughness (FPS method to ESIS Protocol; MMB method to ASTM D6671)
  • Mode III fracture toughness (Internal Procedure)
  • Mode I delamination onset of growth and growth rate evaluation (ASTM D6115)
  • Mode II delamination onset of growth and growth rate evaluation (C-ELS method based on ISO 15114)
  • Mixed Mode I/II delamination onset of growth and growth rate evaluation (FPS method based on ESIS Protocol)

test type


The impact resistance of a material, device or structure is important in many applications.  Components can be subjected to impact during manufacture, installation or service and understanding how the component behaves during the impact event and in subsequent loading is essential for many critical structures. 

Examples of impact tests from Element include:
  • Aerospace structures (fuselage, wings, canopy, fuel pipes etc) by debris (tools...)
  • Composite pipes with spanners or equipment
  • Automotive structure with solid object – crash protection for occupants
  • Dropping of portable devices (e.g. mobile phones, medical inhalers etc)
The impact can have a detrimental effect on the future performance of the device/component/structure. In addition, impact on materials that have been aged can identify a material's toughness and its ductile to brittle transition point.  Element Hitchin has developed specialist impact test facilities to enable a variety of tests to be performed on materials, components, devices or structures. These include:
  • 7m drop weight tower (energy from 10J to 3000J, max velocity 40kph or 11.3m/s, max load +/-60kN
  • Pendulum impact (low energy)
  • Charpy impact tests for rigid polymers
  • Servo-hydraulic actuators up to 2m/s
  • Hail impact test facility

The test facilities at Element are complemented by the finite element analysis capabilities. These include:

  • Simulation of high rate impact of model components and structures to predict localized deformations and failure
  • Materials model derivation at high loading rates
  • Validation of materials models at high loading rates
  • Design optimization to reduce product development costs

test type

Creep/Stress Relaxation

Creep is the slow dimensional change which will occur in a material and component when it is under constant load.

Stress relaxation is the loss in stress with time in a material or component when kept at constant deformation (strain).Creep and stress relaxation rates can be measured on polymeric materials at Element Hitchin to enable correct material choice and correct design. Physical effects dominate at low and ambient temperatures and these effects are largely reversible. Chemical effects become increasingly important at higher temperatures and are generally irreversible.Under cyclic loads, the amount of creep may depend more on the number of cycles than on the total time under load (known as fatigue-creep interaction).Under cyclic temperature conditions stress relaxation rates may be significantly accelerated.Element can conduct various different forms of creep and stress relaxation tests using its bespoke mechanical test machines with thermal cabinets, or its pressure vessels for hydrostatic creep at high and low temperature.