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State-of-the-art test house established at Forgemasters

15 February 2008

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd has established an industry leading test house facility at its Brightside Lane headquarters.

The facility, which allows Forgemasters to perform a wide range of materials testing, will be operated by its specialist subsidiary - Vulcan SFM, and places the company at the forefront of metals testing within the UK's heavy engineering industries.

Having the facility on-site enables Forgemasters to conduct its own heat treatment and hardness, tensile and impact tests, verifying the structural and molecular integrity of the company's products.

Steve Smith, engineering director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "Bringing testing facilities of this calibre on site is a great step forward for this company and the new facility really is of a world class standard."

The test house will be staffed by a team of five professionals, who have access to state-of-the-art machinery, including four horizontal bandsaws for cutting the test-pieces, two CNC computer controlled lathes and a milling machine which prepare the test pieces before they enter the laboratory section to undergo specific tests.

For the processes to be carried out correctly, delivering highly accurate results, the test house provides sub-zero cooling facilities and heat treatment operations, enabling tests to be conducted under a variety of climatic conditions.

Steve added: "The lab provides some very specialist processes for us to use in determining different material values. We have a metalography lab with high powered microscopes, photographic facilities and fume extraction to handle chemical processes.

"We will fully utilise these testing facilities for the group's own products, but we also have the option now to provide these services to other metal manufacturing and engineering companies within the UK."

The air conditioned machine shop and test house, which has cost Forgemasters £450,000 of investment funding, allows the staff to machine and test in a constantly temperature-controlled environment.

Sheffield Forgemasters has the coveted ASME NCA 3800 quality assurance certification, enabling it to manufacture components for the civil nuclear sector and is seeking industry accreditation where applicable for specific testing procedures.