The physical and mechanical testing of a product comprises a critical part of the product and development process. Applied physical force such as vibration, shock stresses, and strain can reveal the inelastic behavior of the material. Mechanical testing allows the product developers to understand the product better, identify vulnerabilities, and establish stronger quality control. Mechanical testing employs a variety of strength tests that can determine the suitability of a material or component for the intended application. It measures characteristics such as elasticity, tensile strength, elongation, hardness, facture toughness, impact resistance, stress fracture, and the fatigue limit.
NTS can perform mechanical testing as an independent analysis or in combination with environmental stimulation, including:
It is critical for organizations to understand under what conditions components will suffer structural failure and deplete their functionality. There are three primary reasons why a component can become dysfunctional:
Excessive deformation (elastic or inelastic) — This condition depends on the elastic characteristics of the material. Excessive elastic deformation may occur under loading conditions of stable equilibrium like the excessive deflection of a steel beam. This type of failure can also transpire under the loading condition of unstable equilibrium — bucking of a column or brittle fracture.
Excessive inelastic deformation depends on the plastic properties of the material — ultimate tensile strength, strain hardening and hardness. This failure may occur under load conditions that cause fatigue, ductile facture and creep.
Fracture — This type of failure occurs because of alternating stresses or strains, which can lead to crack initiation. Stress raisers or defects in the material can further encourage the growth of the crack.
Wear — Mechanical wear can be found at contact interfaces of load-bearing components.
The scope of mechanical testing can range from characterization of material properties to certification of the integrity of final products and safety. Mechanical testing provides valuable information regarding the suitability of a material or component for its intended application. Mechanical testing can also make your design process more efficient and cost-effective. In addition, mechanical testing contributes to product excellence, safety and technological innovation.
Mechanical testing can help you expand the boundaries of performance in your products and components. NTS mechanical testing expertise gives you the confidence you need on future performance and safety. We have a global reputation based on technical capabilities and service, integrity and the quality of our results. In sectors like aerospace, defense, medical devices and other industries, there is no room for error. NTS engineers work closely with our customers to understand their operational and commercial needs, which enable us to deliver the results and the customer satisfaction they expect every time.
Some of the different areas in which we can perform test services include:
Materials Testing — Metals, alloys, polymers, plastics, glass, and other materials possess diverse properties, which make it critical to characterize and evaluate the quality and performance of the material or product in order to determine the suitability for intended application, life expectancy, or to resolve failure or contamination issues. NTS has a nationwide network of professional material testing labs with material analysis expertise and experience that encompass a variety of industries, such as automotive, defense, telecommunications, and consumer services. Our material analysis experts can perform a wide range of testing services, including
We can also work with you to develop a custom testing regimen for general quality assurance or for pre-compliance with ISO or other standards,
Polymer Testing — Advances in material science have resulted in a broad array of material to replace metal in products and parts for applications in a variety of industries. NTS has the ability to test and analyze plastics, rubber and other polymer materials. We can verify performance properties to determine functionality and to predict performance over time. We use various types of polymer testing and analysis to identify base materials and additives, verify material hardness and tensile strength and assess product features.
Dimensional Metrology — When you need to verify dimensional measurements of surfaces, internal and external thread and ensure certain features — such as machined products, components and fasteners — meet the necessary specifications. NTS can conduct first article, third party Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) and traditional hand tool inspections.
Calibration — We have the capability to deliver NIST-traceable and A2LA-accredited calibration services in an environment-controlled laboratory to ensure reliable readings. We can calibrate most gauges as well as measuring tools and electrical, temperature, torque, force, mass and humidity, masters and pressure instruments.
Failure Investigation — When a product or component fails during its intended use, it is important to understand the root cause of the problem. NTS can perform the necessary analysis and inspection. We will provide a comprehensive root cause analysis report, which will list all findings from our investigation and ensure you have the answers you need to prevent a recurrence.
We document all test results in detailed Certified Test Reports.
To ensure materials and products perform accordingly, there are different types of mechanical testing they may undergo:
Fracture mechanics — It is only a matter of time before machine parts crack. Fracture mechanics helps to determine the severity of a flaw and recognize when it becomes a problem. Many industries require manufactures to gather empirical data concerning a material’s ability to resist cracking and crack growth. Fracture testing is commonly employed by companies to develop maintenance schedules and forecast the service life of parts.
NTS offers a full range of mechanical tests. With a global network, NTS can handle standard testing requests or customize a testing protocol to meet your needs.
To support your mechanical testing needs, NTS also offers a variety of chemical testing and analysis, including:
In addition to the major markets we serve, NTS also provides certain specialized services for other markets, ranging from medical devices to consumer electronics to industrial automation and controls. If you cannot find the special services you are looking for here on our website, please contact us directly for more information.
Here are some examples of other markets that NTS services with specialized services for Testing, Certifications and Supply Chain Management:
Aerospace & Defense — The defense and aerospace industry requires engineers to work with a broad selection of metals, composites and other materials. NTS works with defense and governmental agencies to provide testing and certification for Tier I and Tier II suppliers for numerous industrial, commercial and military applications, including tensile testing, fracture mechanics, fastener testing, composite testing and fatigue testing. We also provide customized test procedures to meet customer specifications and help them meet performance goals.
Automobile Industry — Automobile manufacturers are under constant pressure to create vehicles that offer greater fuel economy, which requires design engineers to constantly search for lighter materials. At NTS, we provide timely and precise material testing, such as composites testing, fatigue testing, fastener testing, tensile testing, fracture mechanic testing and other methods to ensure you can meet strict SAE and ASTM standards.
Medical Devices — NTS can ensure you meet the most demanding test requirement in the industry in accordance with FDA, ASTM, CE and ISO guidelines. With a network of highly-trained testing experts, we can provide test design, execution and documentation via our thorough certifiable quality program to help medical device manufacturers’ fast-track submissions to the FDA and other governmental agencies — from test protocol development and prototype/feasibility trials to testing for regulatory agency submittals.
Other industries that can benefit from NTS mechanical testing and certifications services include:
NTS provides companies and government organizations throughout the world with process and product compliance services, testing services, and program management support. Our significant intellectual and physical assets ensure we can manage and support the changing needs of our customers — just as we have been doing for the last 50 years and look forward to doing for 50 more.
If you have questions about testing or want to learn more about getting your product tested, call us at (800) 270-2516 or visit the contact page of the NTS website to reach sales, customer service or request a quote.
Updated June 27, 2016