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Forgemasters test house attracting outside clients

17 April 2009

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd's (SFIL) industry leading test house facility has attracted its first external customers.

The test house places SFIL at the forefront of metals testing within the UK's heavy engineering industries and its customers now include international stainless steel company Outokumpu Stainless Ltd and independent Rotherham-based Thorpe Stainless Supplies Ltd.

The facility, which recently achieved UKAS accreditation, enables the 200-year-old engineering firm to perform a wide range of materials testing and is operated by Forgemasters' specialist subsidiary Vulcan SFM.  

Having the facility on-site enables SFIL to conduct tensile and impact tests, heat treatment and various types of hardness tests to verify the structural integrity of the company's products.

Ian Gerard, managing director of Vulcan SFM, said: "Our testing facilities are of a world class standard and we are delighted to be offering these services to other metal manufacturing and engineering companies throughout the UK.

"The customers we are now serving range from huge international companies to independent South Yorkshire based firms. Due to the quality of the facility and skill of the staff all of our clients are offered the same premium service, turn round times and detailed test reports.

The laboratory staff includes test house manager Ian Hunter and a team of four skilled engineers and technicians.

The team has access to state-of-the-art machinery including four horizontal bandsaws and one vertical bandsaw, two CNC computer controlled lathes and a milling machine which prepares the test pieces before they enter the laboratory section.

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

As well as UKAS accreditation SFIL 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.