Thermal Testing of Materials

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Thermal Testing of Materials

For more than three decades, Southern Research has been a national leader in the thermal properties characterization and evaluation of high-temperature materials for a diverse group of clients that includes aerospace, manufacturing, and government. Our experienced professionals have performed tests on a variety of materials, including composites, ceramics, metals, insulations, and lubricants in both normal and extreme environments at temperatures ranging from cryogenic to more than 3000°C.

Thermal properties testing capabilities at SR include:

Thermal Expansion

  • Horizontal quartz rod dilatometer (-450 to 2000°F, air, vacuum, inert)
  • Graphite tube dilatometer (RT to 5500°F, vacuum, load, inert)
  • Cryogenic ring (-320 to 250°F, inert)
  • High-temperature ring (RT to 5000°F, inert)
  • Yarn/filament/fiber (RT to 5000°F, inert)
  • Precision cryogenic thermal expansion (300 K to below 30 K, 10-20 ppb accuracy)

Thermal Conductivity

  • ASTM C177 guarded hot plate (-250 to 600°F, vacuum, load, air, inert)
  • Comparative rod apparatus (-350 to 2000°F, vacuum, load, air, inert)
  • Laser flash diffusivity (RT to 2400°F, vacuum)
  • Radial inflow apparatus (1000 to 5000°F, vacuum, load, inert)
  • Pressure radial inflow apparatus (70 to 800°F, 15 to 5000 psi atmosphere)
  • Thermal conductance as a function of atmospheric conditions
  • Non-reactive environments

Heat Capacity

  • Adiabatic calorimeter (-450 to 1000°F, air, inert)
  • Ice calorimeter (1000 to 5000°F, inert)
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • Standard and modulated mode (-150° to 725°C, air, inert)
  • Pressure mode (25 to 725°C, air, inert, 1000 psia)
  • High temperature (40 to 1250°C, air, inert, vacuum)

Additional Thermal Testing

  • Total normal emittance (1500 to 4500°C, inert)
  • Heat-treatment furnaces (max 5750°F inert, max 4300°F air, max 4500°F vacuum)
  • Thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) (25 to 1000°C, air, inert)
  • Dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) (-145 to 600°C, air, inert)
  • Quartz Radiant Facility  

Unique Thermal Testing for Phenolic or Ablative Materials

  • Restrained thermal growth (10-30°F/sec heating rates)
  • Acetylene torch facility (heat flux of 50-250 Btu/ft2/sec)
  • Rapid heating analog

Electrical Resistivity

  • High-temperature coupon (RT to 5000°F)
  • RT yarn/filament facility
  • High-temperature yarn/filament (RT to 5000°F)

Simulated Environment  

Southern Research offers clients extensive experience in the conditioning of materials and components to simulate representative service environments. This information can be critical in predicting the performance and/or longevity of materials in standard, extreme, or atypical environments. Our facilities include specialized chambers ranging in size from bench top to 680 cubic feet for temperature and humidity control. These chambers have a temperature range of -70 to +177°C and can replicate humidity levels from 10% – 98%. Vibration simulations are also available over a wide range of specifications. In addition, SR has the capability to design and construct customized chambers, based on client specifications, for several applications. All equipment utilized for simulated environment testing is calibrated to NIST standards. SR capabilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Material Conditioning

  • Weathering studies
  • Effects of moisture on material properties
  • Moisture content
  • Maximum moisture content
  • Swelling
  • Long-term aging studies
  • Coatings evaluation
  • Moisture diffusivity testing

 

Simulated Environment

  • Temperature/humidity cycling of mechanical and electrical systems

Vibration testing

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