Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 Testing, a business unit of Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd., is conducting a wider range of mechanical and metallurgical testing, having gained accreditation from the government-recognized U.K. Accreditation Service (UKAS), following a full audit.  

Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 is focused on research and development projects, and offers services to various industrial markets, including civil nuclear, offshore, renewable energy, general engineering. It also services Forgemasters’ own manufacturing programs.

SFIL describes itself as an engineering group, but a core activity is producing large dimension forgings and castings required to manufacture and fabricate components of nuclear reactors, offshore oil-and-gas exploration, wind turbines, rolling mills, etc.

RD26 gained the UKAS accreditation for corrosion testing (ferric chloride pitting corrosion resistance), volume fraction/ferrite count testing and bend testing supplementing its previous accredited scope which covers tensile testing, Charpy impact testing and hardness testing.

"RD Testing has integrated into the SFIL manufacturing process route and brought this essential activity within our control,” observed David Street, director nuclear systems development at Sheffield Forgemasters. "The increased scope will enhance the service we are able to provide to internal customers to help expedite Forgemasters orders and provide new market opportunities.

"Externally, whilst modest in laboratory terms, we are winning an increasing market share through excellent facilities, the quality of customer service and quick turnaround and also by being able to provide a wider range of investigation and research and design services via Forgemasters' subsidiary RD26,” Street continued.

"We are now in a position to offer the service, whilst capitalizing on the RD26 research-backed technical support and directly related research facilities, such as SEM, failure analysis, DSC and heat treatment simulation. It is these research-supported features that give RD Testing the potential edge and access to higher value markets,” he said. "The increase to the UKAS scope will only add to its attractiveness to customers."

The RD26 Testing business was established in 2008 to offer rapid turnaround, high integrity, independent mechanical and metallurgical testing for SFIL, as a group supporting asset to reduce its reliance on external testing resources.

David added:  "We soon stepped beyond our initial internal remit of internal support work to provide a testing service to local industry with a growing support capability for our external customers."

SFIL expects RD26 Testing to expand its activity by increasing testing the complex and high-integrity elements of Forgemasters' and other U.K. manufacturers’ work in the nuclear power generation industry.

Forgemasters is already certified for manufacturing large-scale components for nuclear energy programs.  

"To have successfully secured the UKAS accreditation and added more tests to our service offering is down to the hard work of the team,” according to SFIL CEO Graham Honeyman.

"The endorsement comes from the sole national accreditation body recognized by government to assess internationally agreed standards for organizations that provide certification, testing and inspection services. The criteria to pass is very strict."

UKAS undertakes annual audits at the site of accredited organizations, to ensure those companies continue to meet the necessary standards.