The Strengths of Materials Laboratory

The Strengths of Materials laboratory at LSBU offers state of-the-art testing facilities capable of performing product qualification testing

The range of apparatus and testing methods available make it an ideal choice for testing a range of structural solutions, including slabs, beams, floor joists, roof trusses, wall panels, floor system components, connection details, compression members and struts, both at room temperature and at temperatures up to 1200°C.

Our mechanical loading rigs can test up to 100 kN, 250 kN and 500 kN, respectively, and are adaptable to accommodate a wide range of structural systems in tension, compression, bending and shear. We have previously conducted product qualification and knowledge development testing for modular construction contractors, chipboard manufacturers and CLT manufacturers.

Our apparatus

  • 500 kN hydraulic-load test rig for member tests up to 5 m spans
  • 250 kN Universal machine for component testing
  • 100 kN Universal machine for material specimens
  • Concrete compression test machine
  • Ceramic heating pads capable of heating to 1200°C with fully programmable time-temperature curves
  • Dynamic shake table
  • High-speed cameras
  • Full mechanical workshop to produce required components and fittings
  • Full complement of linear transducers and strain gauges.
Metallic Foam Crushingmetallic foam cube crushing
metallic foam cube crushing


Examples of standards that testing has been performed in accordance with:

  • BS EN ISO 6892-1:2009 (Tensile tests of metallic materials)
  • BS EN ISO 6892-2:2011 (Tensile tests of metallic materials at elevated
  • BS EN ISO 15630-1:2010 (Testing of reinforcing steel)
  • BS EN 12390-3:2009 (Strength of concrete columns)
  • BS EN 12390-5:2009 (Strength of concrete beams and slabs)
  • BS EN 408:2010 (Determination of material properties of timber)
  • BS 5268-3:2006 (Timber roof rafters)
  • Testing in accordance with other standards also possible upon review

Previous and ongoing test campaigns:

  • Resistance of high-strength steel connections in fire
  • Material characterisation of metallic foams
  • Product qualification testing of adapted timber floor
  • Product qualification of recycled glass bead
    structural members
  • Pull-out strength of bolted timber sockets
  • Strength of composite concrete-timber beams
  • Strength of OSB chipboards flooring panels
  • Strength of shear interface of CLT wall panels