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Specialized Materials Testing and Characterization

For materials testing and characterization of specialized materials used in demanding environments, leading aerospace and technology firms turn to Aavid Thermacore's Materials Technology Division (MTD), Aavid Thermacore's materials processing and services division.

Metal testing and characterization capabilitiesCombined with Aavid Thermacore's proven capabilities in advanced thermal technologies, our materials testing capabilities at MTD help design engineers create innovative, reliable solutions in high-temperature, high-stress applications where performance is critical.


Testing and Characterization

Need assurance that a thermal or materials solution will perform to specifications when it’s crucial? Want to learn how to expand the capabilities of alloys and materials in demanding applications such as aerospace?  We have the technology, the expertise and the background to test existing solutions to their limits -- and help you create new solutions that redefine the limits of performance. Our experience and creativity allows us to create custom tests and new testing environments, including development and fabrication of unique testing devices on demand. And we also offer state-of-the-art characterization at the microscopic level. Our range of services includes:

Key Testing and Characterization Services

  • Mechanical Testing
    • MTD offer's unique mechanical testing capabilities that include drop testing, six test frame systems for mechanical testing in wide temperature ranges (cryogenic to high-temperature) and atmospheres (Air or Inert Gas) or vacuum, atmospheric creep/stress-rupture and impact testing.
    • MTD's high temperature experience and unique testing capabilities provide customers with an exceptional capability in material property testing and characertization.  Some of these capabilities and customer projects are given below:
      • Ultra-high volume vacuum "creep" testing and material aging at 2000°C (3650°F) at a vacuum to 10-10 torr). Creep measurements can be made to the fifth decimal point. The extremely low vacuum is supported by a turbomolecular roughing pump, an Ion pump and a Titanium Sublimation Pump (TSP).
      • Tensile, compressive and fatigue testing of refractory specimens and composite specimens. Refractory metal alloy tensile and compressive testing can be accomplished as high as 2500°C / 4530°F in a 10-5 vacuum. Composite specimens are tested in a graphite furnace that can reach as high as 2500°C (4530°F).

      Some examples of Mechanical Testing follow:

      • A customer had an urgent need to perform a drop test on a new device that was proposed for shipboard use. MTD designed and fabricated a high-impact testing device that utilized a 4,000 pound weight of lead dropping from 9 feet and a high-speed camera. The customer was able to view in ultra-slow motion the successful testing of a proposed synthetic downcomer.
      • Another customer had a problem with a designed and fabricated latch assembly. Again, schedule was critical. MTD quickly assembled and qualified a test fixture that was able to exercise the assembly through its operational cycle. After some 10,000 cycles, we showed was able to show that galling of similar metals was causing a problem. The customer changed some of the mating materials met their production schedule.
      • A leading aerospace firm approached MTD to do some high temperature testing of a coated refractory material. Because of the coating, a furnace with graphite internals had to be used. Tensile testing, low cycle fatigue and high cycle fatigue testing was required. The test temperature was 2600° F in helium. MTD was able to deliver!
  • Specialized Testing
    • The commercial nuclear industry requires the qualification of materials used in the reactor system. In the case of O-rings, qualification needed to be based on operational performance. MTD replicated the qualification process pioneered in Canada for domestic application. Each O-ring recipe and in fact each recipe batch is qualified under very precisely controlled temperatures and pressures in a special fixture.
    • Thermocouples used to measure process and test temperature. Ever wonder how accurate thermocouples are over time? So did one of our customers. MTD assembled a test in which a number of thermocouples of the same type but from different suppliers and different prices were inserted into a black body that was placed into a high temperature furnace. The black body's temperature was measured by a calibrated pyrometer. The test was run for several thousand hours and the drift of the various thermocouples recorded.
    • Industry has been focused on solid state devices that can directly convert thermal energy into electricity. For one customer, MTD was able to perform a prototype test of the conversion device in a vacuum and measured the performance of the device over time.
    • MTD has the capability to do a number of pressure tests, from helium leak rate testing down to 9 x 10-9 cc/second, bubble testing with helium and soap, gas pressure testing to 4,500 psi and water testing to 9,000 psi.
    • MTD does corrosion testing of metal alloys and composites.
  • Characterization
    • Complete metallographic services, including mounting, polishing, digital photography and interpretation
    • Electropolishing and pickling
    • Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometry
    • Microhardness and macrohardness testing


Materials management challenge? Take the first step towards the solution for you. Contact a Materials Technology Division technical representative.

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