Metallurgy Testing and Mechanical Investigation

SOCOTEC has over 100 years of experience in metallurgy testing and metallurgical and mechanical investigations for ascertaining material characterisation and identifying reasons for product failure from our UKAS accredited laboratories*.

In addition we offer chemical analysis of raw materials, product testing to identify fitness for purpose, proof load testing, pressure testing and welder approval.

In situ sampling and testing of steel structures is also offered in support of our structural investigation services.

SOCOTEC provides an independent and expert metallurgical investigation service, run by experienced and qualified consultants. Since 1874, the company has been providing materials testing, analysis, consultancy and investigation in the fields of metallurgy, materials science and component performance from its UKAS accredited laboratory in St Albans.

SOCOTEC's laboratory is accredited by UKAS (No.0001) and is also one of only a few laboratories in the UK to be nominated by the UK CARES (Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels) to test steel reinforcement and other components for the CARES certification scheme.
Metallurgical Testing
A comprehensive range of routine metallurgical tests are undertaken to establish:

  • Grain size
  • Case depth*
  • Inclusion content
  • Plating thickness
  • Decarburisation depth*
  • Intercrystalline corrosion*
    (*Accredited methods)
  • These use a variety of techniques including:
  • Scanning Electon Microscopy (SEM) with EDX probe
  • Photomicrography
  • Photography with digital imaging
  • On-site metallography

Proof of Loading
Typical products which benefit from our proof of loading tests include ladders to BS EN 131, staging, trestles, beams, posts, crash barriers and crowd crush barriers.

  • Chemical Analysis
  • Typical products tested include raw materials, cleaning products and polymers. Tests include:
  • Direct reading – Spark Emission OES*
  • Combustion – carbon and sulphur*
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Organic analysis
  • Inorganic analysis
    (*Accredited methods)
  • Mechanical Testing

We provide the following comprehensive range of mechanical testing and materials characterisation for product testing and failure investigation:

  • Tensile testing ISO 6892-1* / BS 4A4-1* / ASTM E8
  • Impact testing to BS 131-1* / ISO 148-1*
  • Compression testing
  • Bend tests (flexure)*
  • Hardness (Vickers, Low Force Vickers, Brinell)*
    (*Accredited methods) 

Materials and Product Testing

SOCOTEC has an extensive range of analytical instrumentation and expertise across a broad range of analysis including those used for:

  • Ascertaining fitness for purpose
  • Compliance testing
  • Raw materials testing
  • Component quality control
  • Testing ceramics, plastics, metals and metal alloys
  • Competitor product testing
  • Failure investigations
  • Determining the chemical composition of alloys

Typical products covered include hand tools, cutlery, kettles, barbecues, saucepans, cookware, garden tools, machined, cast and fabricated components including prototype and production items.
Welder Approval
We hold UKAS accreditation for testing of weld samples including:

  • Welder approval testing to ISO 9606-1&2, Rolls Royce RPS 912, CAA (BCAR 8-10)
  • Mechanical properties of the weld 

Pressure Testing
Typical products tested include pressure vessels, pipes, fire extinguishers, pressure cookers and encompasses:

  • Burst testing
  • Hydrostatic pressure upto 20,000 psi

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