Innovation

The culture at Phoenix is driven by knowledge transfer between different industrial and academic sectors, this ensures that we can support and deliver the best Materials Testing Technology in the world. We work collaboratively with key partners through KTP programmes (Wolverhampton University, Sheffield University) and Innovate UK projects (Impression Technologies, Imperial College London, Innoval) to develop and share the very best and latest expertise and knowledge, as well as ongoing projects with our key customers.

As part of our focus on collaboration and knowledge transfer Phoenix hosted a joint conference at the AMRC in Rotherham with the High Temperature Mechanical Testing Committee (Nov 2016) and are hosting an EIS (Engineering Integrity Society) workshop at our site focussing on The Challenges of Structural Integrity at High Temperature (Oct 18).

These events look at the challenges around the control and measurement of temperature and strain in various elevated temperature and environmental conditions.

In addition to the conferences and formal collaborative programmes Phoenix looks to work with key customers on technical papers and publications, we have already been involved in a joint paper with CCFE and a second is currently under way.

PhD Projects

Phoenix has a strong relationship with many leading UK universities who are carrying out new and complex testing. The Phoenix site and Test Laboratory are an ideal environment to develop that further by enabling PhD students to work at Phoenix, alongside our expert engineers, to carry out some of the physical development or testing aspects of their research, with the analysis and academic work carried out at the University.

Collaborative Projects

Phoenix worked with Impression Technologies through an Innovate UK grant to design and implement a custom testing facility, used to study the high-temperature response of aluminium when subjected to complex temperature-strain histories. The Phoenix test lab was used to generate some baseline data, enabling the development and prove-out of the testing equipment and methods.  Phoenix then supplied the test frame, equipped with a bespoke heating /cooling and measuring system, which allowed ITL to progress with their development work with ongoing support from Phoenix. The work has contributed to the development of aluminium panel pressing technology for the automotive industry based on ITL’s patented HFQ® process

KTP

Whilst it is possible to achieve temperatures above 1150°C using induction heating, ensuring that the temperature measurement and gradient are correct (either uniform or a specified gradient) and instrumentation for strain and fracture mechanics measurements are challenging and not well established.

Phoenix undertook a 36 month KTP project with Sheffield University to investigate and develop test techniques to control and measure at up to 1600°C, including multi zone heating, control and measurement.

Testing was been carried out on samples supplied by Birmingham University.

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