Centre for Advanced Composite Materials

Physical testing equipment

A wide selection of high-quality test equipment and state-of-the-art instrumentation allows us to conduct novel research and support industrial testing requirements.

Drop tower

Imatek fully instrumented drop weight impact tester IM10-20

Drop height 50–2000 mm
Drop mass 8–30 kg, 1.0kg increments
Velocity range 1.0–20 m/s (using high velocity option)
Energy range 2.5–2000 J (using high velocity option)
Peak force 60 kN
Data acquisition (force) Up to 3,000,000 samples/second
Imatek Drop Tower
Imatek Drop Tower


Mechanical testing

Electro-mechanical universal testing machines

Instron 1186 Max 200 kN
Instron 1185 Max 100 kN
Instron 5567 Max 30 kN

Servo-hydraulic universal testing machine

Instron 8802 Max 300 kN
Load cells 5N – 250 kN

Environmental chamber

For use within Instron 1185/1186

Temperature range 100 – 350ºC
Left: Instron 5567 Right: Instron 1185 with environmental chamber
Left: Instron 5567 Right: Instron 1185 with environmental chamber


Permeability and compaction characterisation for fibrous reinforcements

Permeability characterisation

Characterisation of the permeability of a material, for use in liquid resin infusion simulations. Two distinct techniques used at CACM:

  • 2D in-plane permeability characterisation for fibre reinforcements, based on image analysis.
  • Through-thickness permeability characterisation, including air and liquid permeability.

Compaction characterisation

Characterisation of the resistance to compaction of fibrous reinforcements, required for force and stress prediction of composites manufacturing processes. A range of setups used dependent on model to be characterised.

Weighing balances

Mettler Toledo AG204 200 gram x 0.0001 gram
Mettler Toledo PG8001 8.0 kg x 0.1 gram
Mettler Toledo SB16001 3.2 kg x 0.1 gram
16 kg x 1 gram
Sartorius SARLP12000S 12 kg x 0.1 gram

Density measurements

Moisture content balance

Sartorius MA35 (ASTM D789)


Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

TA Instruments Q1000

Temperature range 180–725 ºC ± 0.1ºC
Calorimetric precision ± 1%
Sensitivity 0.2 µW
Baseline curvature with Tzero (-50–300ºC) 10 µW

TA Instruments DSC
TA Instruments DSC



Parr-Physica UDS200

The Paar Physica UDS 200 is a rotational rheometer that can be used to measure shear viscosity, viscoelastic functions, creep, and yield stress of materials using different geometries such as cone-and-plate, parallel-plate, and concentric cylinder.

Shear rate control range 0.0001–5000 s-1
Stress control range 0.002–150 mN.m
Temperature control range -40–300ºC
Parr-Physica UDS200 Rheometer
Parr-Physica UDS200 Rheometer


Environmental chamber

Contherm CAT180RHS

Temperature range 10-70 ºC
Humidity display 0-100% relative humidity

Humidity control

40-95% relative humidity
Contherm CAT180RHS Environmental chamber
Contherm CAT180RHS Environmental chamber

Other equipment

Cone calorimeter

High speed camera


Charpy impact testing