Materials Characterization and Testing: test plan development; test management; data analysis
Whether you are designing a new product, maintaining an existing product or developing a quality control procedure, accurate materials characterization and testing data is critical. Materials are commonly referred to by their name, e.g., AISI 321 stainless steel, or AA7075 aluminum. However, these names do not control or specify design critical properties. For design, it is vital to evaluate the specific product form, manufacturing method, heat treatment, and operational environmental influence to develop the design database on which your product relies. The table lists our materials testing protocol experience. We have applied these methods and others to characterise a wide range of metals, ceramics, and composites.
We can help you develop a test plan and analysis plan that includes the properties critical to your product. This is a diverse field which includes mechanical, thermal, electrical, corrosion, and wear. We have extensive experience preparing test procedures, managing testing, and analyzing test results. Where possible, national and international standards such as those issued by ASTM form the basis for testing. A list of selected publications is given at the bottom of this page. Working with outside laboratories, we have experience in the areas given in the table below. We can also help you with developing a materials selection strategy, where our broad materials experience shown in the second table below, forms only a beginning basis.
Sometimes it is prudent to augment or deviate from the standard test methods in order to extract additional information from the test or to adjust the test to better represent the real loading and operating environment of the product. An example of augmenting a standard test is the use of digital image correlation (DIC) to extract strain field data around the crack tip during tensile, fracture toughness or fatigue crack growth testing. The illustration above shows damage accumulation during tensile cycling of a carbon-carbon composite (low cycle fatigue) which would not be evident simply by using extensometers to measure net section strain. DIC is effectively a high resolution spacial strain gage. As another example, consider the ASTM cavitation (ASTM G32) or thrust washer wear tests (ASTM D3702). In their standard forms, these tests are designed to measure steady state wear by cavitation or sliding. However, sometimes a design requires a material which will not show damage even during the transient phases of material removal.
Relevant blog postings:
Anodizing aluminum and magnesium causes fatigue strength reduction in many alloys. This posting discusses fatigue debit and the underlying mechanism in aluminum-copper alloys AA2219 and AA2024. It includes additional information on AA6061 and magnesium alloy WE43A-T6.
Materials characterization techniques experience base
|Mechanical||Thermal/Electrical||Corrosion & oxidation||Wear and friction||Chemical|
|Tensile (ASTM E8, ASTM B557)||Thermal conductivity and diffusivity||Salt fog (ASTM B117)||Bearing life (Weibull)||X-Ray diffraction (Phase analysis, residual stress, crystallite size for graphite)|
|Low cycle fatigue (ASTM E606)||Electrical conductivity of solids||Tafel extrapolation||Thrust washer (ASTM D3702), 3-ball, 4-ball, pin on disk, pin on plate)||Spectroscopy (ICP-OES, ICP-MS, MS, UV/VIS, NMR)|
|High cycle fatigue (axial: ASTM E466, wire: E2948, rotary bending: ISO 1143)||Thermal expansion||Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)||Friction coefficient||Surface analysis (Auger, XPS (ESCA), RBS)|
|Fracture toughness (KIC: ASTM E399, JIC: ASTM E813)||Heat capacity (specific heat)||Component level exposure testing||Lubricant analysis and life prediction||Thermal: TGA/DSC/DTA/DMA|
|Fatigue crack growth (ASTM E647)||Electrical conductivity of solutions||High temperature oxidation||Tribometer design||Rheology|
|Stress corrosion||Solid state diffusion coefficient||Cyclic voltammetry||Cavitation erosion (ASTM G32)||Surface tension/wettability (tensiometer: Du Noüy ring, Wilhelmy plate, sessile drop)|
|Bending (flexure strength), uniaxial (ceramics: ASTM C1161), biaxial||Dilatometry (thermal expansion, cereamic and powder metal sintering)||Temperature programed oxidation (TPO)||Particulate erosion||Polarimetry|
|Creep (ASTM E139)||Refractometry, refractive index|
|X-Ray residual stress||Dilatometry (thermal expansion)|
|Component testing||Carbon/sulfur and oxygen/hydrogen/nitrogen analysis|
|Spring fatigue, set, shear modulus||BHT/BJS (surface area, pore size distribution)|
|Digital image correlation (strain)|
Materials selection and characterization experience base
|AISI 1010||AISI 304L||AA2014||Inconel 718||Ti-6-4||Silicon nitride||Carbon-Carbon||Anodized aluminum|
|AISI 1045||AISI 304||AA2024||Inconel 625||Ti-24-11||Silicon carbide||Graphite||Anodized magnesium|
|AISI 4340||AISI 321||AA2219||Haynes 25||Ti-25-10-3-1||Zirconia toughened alumina||Pitch polymers and carbon||Carburizing|
|AISI 3130||AISI 347||AA6061||Haynes 230||Ti-6242||Alumina||Particle reinforce AA8009||Nitriding|
|AISI 52100||AISI 410||AA7075||Waspaloy||Beta-C||Boron nitride||Rhenium||Boriding|
|Aermet 100||AISI 416||AA8090||Mar-M-247||Phosphate glass||Tungsten||Case hardening|
|Invar||AISI 430||AA8009||Stellite alloys||Lanthanide glass||Molybdenum||Parylene|
|Controlled expansion alloys||AISI 440C||C355||Ni-Co electroformed||Titanium nitride||Furan polymers||Spark anodizing|
|BG42||17-4 PH||A357||Nickel 200||Parylene||Chrome plating|
|Kronodor-30||17-7 PH||Udimet 700||Photo polymers||Tungsten-cobalt plating|
|AISI M50||15-15 PH||Hastelloy X750||Fluoro-silicone polymers||Tungsten-nickel plating|
|AISI H11||Greek Ascoloy||Hastelloy X||CDA 630||Rhenium-nickel plating|
|CPM-10V||Nitronic 60||Hastelloy C||CDA 544||Stellite coatings|
|A286||Spinodal bronze ToughMet® |
Selected Publications (external links):
Citations for illustrations used with permission
 R. G. Rateick, R. J. Griffith, D. A. Hall, and K. A. Thompson, “Relationship of microstructure to fatigue strength loss in anodised aluminium-copper alloys,” Materials Science & Technology, vol. 21, no. 10, pp. 1227–1235, 2005. Copyright © 2005 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, figures reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd, http://www.tandfonline.com on behalf of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
 This article was published in Carbon, 126, P. Chowdhury, H. Sehitoglu, and R. Rateick, “Damage tolerance of carbon-carbon composites in aerospace application”, 1-12, Copyright Elsevier (2018).