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Finding a ‘one-stop testing shop’ for metallurgical testing, failure investigation, expert witness provision, positive material identification and quality assurance of finished components can be a problem. However, the UK’s Keighley Laboratories’ UKAS-accredited and ISO/ IEC 17025:2005-certified Test House might be the answer.


riginally established in 1920, Keighley Laboratories offers a global service covering routine

hardness-, tensile-, compression-, impact- and fatigue-testing to European and US standards. Services ranging from non-destructive

testing (NDT) and inspection procedures to advanced metallographic analysis are available, as are the use of stereo binocular microscopes, specimen preparation, digital image capture and a dedicated CNC machine shop for producing test samples. Failure and fracture investigations,

reverse engineering analysis and forensic-type examinations, providing full documentation and − where appropriate − remedial advice for preventing further problems, are also available. Another key service is the physical and mechanical testing of ferrous and non- ferrous metals and alloys to establish their mechanical properties, employing an array of equipment and techniques, including impact-testing. Keighley employs the two standard methods − Charpy and Izod − and has

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the capacity to prepare and machine- test pieces. For hardness-testing it offers Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers and Knoop, including in-situ evaluation. Tensile- and compression-loading

testing can be carried out in ambient, sub-ambient and elevated temperatures, with loads of up to 1100kN, while digital equipment is used to fatigue- test components, employing resonant frequencies between 60Hz and 180Hz. Other mechanical testing techniques include proof-loading, bend and fracture tests, full metallurgical examination of fasteners, corrosion- testing of stainless steel, plated and painted test-pieces, heat-resistant alloys and austenitic materials. Macro-examinations of up to 10x magnification and micro-analysis of up to 1000x are also available, while semi- automatic sample preparation enables the safe handling of even the latest generation of superalloys. All NDT inspectors are qualified to PCN Level 2 or 3 and are available for in- house and on-site work, covering

the most common methods of inspection: Liquid Penetrant Testing, Magnetic Particle Testing and Ultrasonic Flaw Detection. In the field, non-destructive ferrite meters can identify the ferrite content of welded seams in pipelines and processing plants. To complement this, magnetic permeability-testing enables accurate assessment of a material’s residual magnetism, critical for applications where stainless steels or copper alloys must have a low or negligible response to electromagnetic fields. Positive material identification (PMI)

or alloy verification is used to determine the composition of a variety of materials, such as mixed metal stock, critical components, in-service pipework, valves and connections, and high-grade alloys. XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analysis and spark emission spectrometry techniques allow PMI verification of most ferrous and non-ferrous materials, either in-house or on-site. For more information visit

September / October 2012

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