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VicTesting takes its trade to Melbourne’s west

Well, we’re pretty chuffed to announce that Victorian Testing and Inspection services has acquired MecTest Laboratories Pty Ltd, based in South Kingsville, in Melbourne’s west.

MecTest is a specialist testing business similar to VicTest that provides specialist services in the field of mechanical and metallurgical testing. It caters to the manufacturing, fabrication, welding, pipe, forging, automotive, rail, structural and import industries.

It was established in 2009 and has many years experience associated with research facilities and commercial testing companies.

Bringing MecTest into the fold means Victorian Testing and Inspection Services, which also operates as Queensland Testing Services in our sunny state, now operates from three sites.

“It means we can service the western suburbs of Melbourne to a greater extent,” owner Andrew Joiner says.

“Previously we’ve had a lot of work out of Melbourne but mostly it’s been from the eastern suburbs due to our location in the Latrobe Valley.

“We’ll really be able to cater to the construction, water and energy businesses in Melbourne’s west and beyond, and we look forward to making some new contacts and really growing the business in that region.”

MecTest’s range of services includes:

  • Tensile testing
  • Impact testing
  • Hardness testing
  • Metallurgical investigations
  • Pressure Vessel Inspection

For more information about MecTest, visit www.mectest.com.au, email info@mectest.com.au or phone 03 9399 2188.

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How a French metallurgist changed all our lives

Turn the clock back to the first day of September in 1865, when a bouncing baby boy was born to a couple in France. Augustin Georges Albert Charpy, later to become a metallurgist and one of France’s three “founding fathers” in the science of alloys, was, no doubt, no more remarkable than any other baby born at the time. But his life’s work would come to impact on all our lives in ways that you might never imagine.

Charpy was the brains behind – we are sorry to state the obvious – the Charpy impact test. The Charpy impact test is a method that continues to be used today, including here at Victorian Testing and Inspection Services.

Initially employed to measure the brittleness of metals, it can also be used to test the relative toughness of other materials under impact, such as ceramics and polymers. It is considered a quick and economical methodology.

Here’s how it works:

  • The material being tested is held securely at each end
  • A standardized striker is attached to the end of a weighted pendulum
  • The pendulum swings and strikes the material being tested, breaking it
  • The energy absorbed by the material is recorded by measuring the decrease in speed of the pendulum arm as it impacts the metal.

Charpy tests are useful for determining whether a metal is brittle or ductile (pliable). A brittle metal will absorb less energy than a ductile metal. Testing under differing conditions, for example, high or low temperatures, will ascertain whether the materials being tested are suitable for the uses to which they are put.

Essentially it is the method used to ensure the quality and reliability of steel products in industries including construction, defence, energy and machinery and equipment manufacturing.

Which means that Augustin Georges Albert Charpy’s influence was very extensive indeed.

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