Materials Services

ORE Catapult’s Materials Services team offers a variety of high-quality UKAS accredited examination processes and testing services, either as a standalone service or as part of a wider testing regime alongside other teams at the Catapult.




ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth has always offered world leading testing and validation services in relation to next generation blades, turbines and high-voltage (HV) insulation systems, with the support of the materials specialist personnel. In response to rapidly growing client interest in this area, the Catapult recently collected this expertise together to offer a comprehensive lab-based service for our clients.

Our Materials Services include:

  1. Non-electric High Voltage (HV) Cable Type Testing
  2. Blade leading edge erosion testing and analysis
  3. Tribological testing and analysis
  4. Root cause analysis failure investigations
  5. Materials/composites research
  6. Accelerated aging
  7. Materials analysis
  8. Mechanical testing and analysis

Non-electrical High-voltage (HV) cable type testing

The Materials Laboratory offers non-electrical type testing on cables from 1 kV to 500 kV, both single core and three-phase array cables and is capable of testing cables to the following standards: IEC 60502-2 (2014), IEC 60840 (2020), IEC 63026 (2019), and IEC 62067 (2011).

Testing can be provided in person or remotely, with a comprehensive test report including photographic evidence provided and of course, we offer the UKAS accredited HV electrical testing alongside these materials tests.

Leading edge erosion testing and analysis

ORE Catapult’s blade erosion testing facility offers state of the art, accredited testing into the effects of the rain droplets impact on the leading-edge of a wind turbine blade.

Our highly experienced team have the capacity to manufacture samples, conduct numerous post-test analyses with a range of analytical tools at their disposal and can offer advice on materials selection, including thermo-mechanical properties, impact physics and degradation chemistry.

Tribological testing and analysis

Currently under development is our new tribology laboratory which will initially offer tribometric characterisation of materials, including friction calculations, ageing estimations, wear properties and metallurgy associated with drive train wear.

We also offer grease/oil analysis to quantify the amount of metallic content and quality of the greases. This area of materials science is a new exciting addition to our Materials Services and enable our experts to support clients with the lifetime analysis of their products. Watch this space for new equipment and techniques becoming available in the near future.

Failure investigations

The team at the Materials Laboratory has a great deal of experience in providing forensic dissection and root-cause failure analysis as well as witnessing services. Utilising the team’s collective electrical, mechanical and materials knowledge on every project, clients can be assured of fast, accurate and definitive failure investigation testing. HV cables, WT blades and HV bushings are examples of particular specialisms at ORE Catapult.

Materials/composites research

The team are now regularly being asked by clients to contribute to product development and design improvement, by providing analytic testing of materials and designing test programmes to compare and evaluate material properties, ageing properties and analysis of individual cable layers.

The team has expertise in blade leading-edge composites/coatings, HV insulation materials, and metallurgy associated with drivetrain wear, and can offer support with everything from simple functional testing through to the delivery of large scale, complex research projects.

Accelerated aging

The laboratory currently offers a range of accelerated ageing techniques to assess the product longevity.

Some of these techniques include:

  • Wet age HV cables testing
  • Dynamic HV cable fatigue
  • Thermal / environmental ageing capability
  • UV ageing
  • Weathering analysis

Materials analysis

Our Materials Laboratory at ORE Catapult equipped with various test facilities  for physical, chemical analysis, and characterisation of  the materials.

Some of our materials analysis equipment include X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), Fourier-transform Infrared spectroscopy  (FTIR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Karl-Fishcher titration, Pycnometer, and 2D/3D Microscopy.

Mechanical Testing and Analysis

Our Materials Laboratory at ORE Catapult offers mechanical tests on the materials including tensile, compression, and 3-point bend and peel testing.

Moreover, with our Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) test equipment we can perform various mechanical testing on the materials including fatigue, tension, shear, compression, 3-point bend at small scale for the research and development purposes.

Contact Our Team

Dr David Hoyle

Senior HV Materials Engineer

Email Dr David Hoyle

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