| Composite Vehicle Research Center

Technology & Equipment

Equipment Description Image Thrust Areas

Biaxial Fatigue m/c

Biaxial fatigue test machine: This device is a unique custom-built four-piston servo-hydraulic testing machine capable of conducting
biaxial fatigue testing of large cruciform specimens over a broad range of loads, load ratios, and frequencies.

Biaxial Fatigue Other

Filament Winder - Braiding Machine 4 axis

A weaving machine specially designed for producing a woven fabric which is organized by three yarn orientations, 0, 60 and -60.
Each fabric has a total thickness of twelve layers, resulting in a triaxial quasi-isotropic fabric.

Filament Winder - Braiding Machine Design & Manufacture

Gas gun – generating impact up to 1500ft/s

A cylindrical tube is used to accelerate a projectile for striking onto a specimen to simulate the behavior of the specimen due to
the impact of a real gun.

Gas gun – generating impact up to 1500ft/s Structural Integrity

High Split Hopkinson's Pressure Bar

Two circular bars, with a specimen in between them, are instrumented with electrical-resistance strain gauges to measure the strain wave propagating in them when one end of them is stricken by a projectile. Hopkinson's pressure bar is commonly used for measuring the dynamic stress-strain relation of the specimen.

High Split Hopkin's Pressure Bar Other

Humidity chamber

A temperature and humidity cycling chamber ideal for simulating a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions.

Tenney Humidity Chamber Design & Manufacture

Instron DYNATUP Impact Tower

Instron 9250 is designed to measure energy absorption and related impact properties of polymers, metals, composites and resulting final components.

Instron Dynatup Impact Tower 9250HV Design & Manufacture

MTS Insight 810 Materials Testing System

Tensile testing is conducted on a wide variety of materials to determine properties such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and elongation at fracture. Various classes of materials have unique requirements with respect to specimen geometry, specimen gripping, test procedures and results that are determined. In general, however, tensile tests involve the application of a monotonic load or displacement to the specimen to the point of fracture.

MTS Insight 810 Materials Testing System Design & Manufacture

Optical equipment

  1. Optical Transmittance Scanner: A custom-built device using a diode laser for quantitative NDI of transparent and translucent materials, particularly certain composites. The depths, extents, and shapes of superimposed internal flaws are obtained with this device and associated custom software.
  2. Short Coherence Length Scanning Interferometer: A custom-built patented device developed in-house for precisely determining the locations and sizes in three-dimensions of small flaws or damages in materials such as transparent armor. It uses a low-coherence diode laser and a path-matching technique.
  3. Digital Image Correlation (2): These devices use digital photographs of a pattern applied to the surface of components to obtain displacement maps in two and three dimensions through a correlation algorithm. Widely used in industry.
  4. Fiber Optic Strain Gages and Interrogators: Both Bragg grating and Fabry-Perot fiber optic strain gage systems for point-wise measurement of strain.
  5. Transmission Photoelasticity: Custom built research-grade polariscopic with adjunct devices for complete whole-field  or point-wise experimental stress analysis of loaded components using a wide variety of wavelengths from deep ultraviolet through far infrared.
  6. Reflection Photoelasticity: Polariscope and adjunct devices for measuring strains at the surface of actual structural members in real-time service conditions. Used widely in the aircraft industry for light weight design enhancement.
  7. Three-dimensional Photoelasticity: Uses the “frozen stress and slicing” technique and a special polariscope to analyze the stresses inside models of loaded structures.
  8. Digital Speckle Pattern Interferometry (DSPI) (4): Otherwise called Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI), these devices utilize coherent laser speckle patterns to measure with high sensitivity the whole-field displacement and strain maps in loaded components. Also used for NDI of structures such as natural gas fuel tanks.
  9. Electronic Shearography: Uses laser speckle effect for whole field NDI. Widely used in fabrication and repair facilities as well as in the field.
  10. White-light Speckle Photography: Successive high-resolution photographs of the natural surface or subsurface asperities are recorded as the specimen is loaded or moved. These photographs ae then interrogated to obtain displacement information in three dimensions.
  11. Three-axis Moiré interferometry: Uses coherent beam interference to create high-resolution Moiré patterns that facilitate highly sensitive whole-field analysis of displacement and strain.
  12. Projection Moiré: Uses successive digital images of projected line patterns to obtain, mainly, out-of-plane deformations and shape profiles easily and quickly. Similar to the line scanning method used in component fabrication industries, for example, but giving a whole-field picture.
  13. Shadow Moiré: A Moiré pattern is created using the shadow effect, giving in a simple way a direct measurement of topography or change of topography with easily variable sensitivity.
  14. Holographic Interferometry: Creates three-dimensional holographic images that interfere with one another to yield surface displacements. An electronic digital version of this technique is under development.
  15. Components and Devices: A wide variety of optical tables and breadboard components, research-grade cameras, light sources, phase shifters, lenses, filters, beam splitters, mirrors, and so on for creating custom optical systems for measurement applications.
Photo of Gary Cloud demonstrating the optical equipment Self-Diagnostic Composites

Paper Making Process

Equipment for Producing Discontinuous Random Fibrous Sheets Produced by a Paper Making Process  

  1. Adirondack Machine Corp. Model G-300W Formax semiautomatic sheet former.  Produces random fibrous mats 30.54 cm square.
  2. Formax Maelstrom 8L pulper.  Used to mix reinforcing fibers and polymer matrix/binder fibers in white water to create a uniform dispersion.
Paper making process equipment - step 1 , Paper making process equipment - step 2 Other

Shock tube

A tube consisting of three sections, high pressure, intermediate pressure and low pressure sections. Individual pressure levels can be installed in the sections to produce an output pressure wave with a specific pressure profile for blast experiment.

Shock Tube Impact Resistance

Test fixtures to measure in-plane and transverse permeabilities of fibrous reforms

  1. Compaction test fixture.  Measures the compressibility of 15.24 cm x 15.24 cm fibrous preform samples.
  2. In-plane advancing front permeability fixture.  Measures the in-plane permeability of fibrous preform samples 15.13 cm wide by 17.11 cm long and up to 6.35 cm thick.
  3. In-plane permeability fixture.  Measures the in-plane permeability of fibrous preform samples 15.25 cm wide by 15.32 cm long and up to 1.27 cm thick.
  4. Radial visualization permeability fixture.  Measures the principal permeabilities and β angle of fibrous preform samples 25.4 cm square. 
  5. Transverse permeability fixture. Measures the transverse permeability of fibrous preform samples 5.08 cm square and up to 3.20 cm thick.
Text fixtures to measure in-plane transverse permeabilities of fibrous reforms Design & Manufacture

TMP 140 Ton Hot Vaccum Press

The TMP 140 Ton Up-Acting Vacuum Press may be used to fabricate flat polymer composite test panels up to 30 inches x 30 inches. The maximum temperature of the platens is 800º (427ºC).  The maximum applied force is 140 tons.  The platen chamber may be operated either at ambient atmospheric pressure, or at full vacuum of approximately 28.5 in. Hg. The press may be operated manually, or in one of the three automatic modes (no heat, heat only, or heat and cool).  Four temperature zones, hydraulic ram force, and vacuum level are recorded by a machine-dedicated PC.


TMP 140 Ton Hot Vacuum Press Composite Joining, Design & Manufacture, Multifunctional Composites