The Sheffield based Special Steel Co Ltd was founded in 1925 by Bennett Beardshaw with the intention to melt and process tool steels.
Initially, heat treatment was just part of the process involved in the production of these steels. However, Bennett's technical expertise in this area was quickly recognised, and his reputation grew. As this happened, the company made the decision to specialise, rapidly evolving into the leading sub-contract heat treatment company of its day.
This evolution led to further growth, and an opportunity was identified to provide a complementary mechanical testing service and in 1939, Special Testing Ltd was established.
Today, Special Steel Group remains at the forefront of its industry thanks to its ongoing commitment, innovation and investment. By offering its customers a single source for steel supply, forgings, heat treatment, testing and machining, it has set itself apart from its competitors and continues to lead the way in materials supply, processing and testing services.
Special Testing Ltd offers a comprehensive range of testing services to satisfy the needs of the oil & gas, aerospace, automotive, nuclear and defence industries. They provide UKAS 17025 & Nadcap approved mechanical, metallurgical, corrosion and analytical testing services to meet the needs of their customers in a highly competitive industry and pride themselves on delivering a quality service with speed, integrity, and accuracy, coupled with exceptional customer support.
Mechanical testing is carried out to relevant, internationally recognised standards by a team of highly qualified and experienced technicians.
On completion of a new, expanded laboratory, the company decided to invest heavily in new state of the art mechanical testing equipment to accommodate an increase in specimen throughput and improved accuracy, and purchased two ZwickRoell univeral testing machines: the AllroundLine with a testing force of 250 kN incorporating laserXtens extensometry and a ZwickRoell universal testing machine ProLine with a testing force of 100 kN. The purpose built laboratory is temperature controlled and all test equipment is maintained and calibrated in accordance with national standards to ensure the accuracy and reliability of test results.
Operations Manager Mike Hall said, “ZwickRoell were able to offer the optimum technical solution to satisfy our requirements at a competitive price and the provision of contactless laser extensometers enables us to measure specimen elongation to destruction without concern about damaging the instrument.”
The laboratory can now accommodate a wide range of standard and proportional gauge length test samples. In addition, a controlled strain rate of 0.005 mm/mm/minute can be employed where appropriate for aerospace, high temperature alloys and titanium grades, as an alternative to the standard strain rate of 0.015mm/mm/minute; ±0.006mm/mm/minute.
Mike adds, “The ZwickRoell equipment installation was completed very smoothly by knowledgeable engineers and ongoing technical and maintenance support has proved to be first-class.”