The NCC offers extensive specialist capabilities through its skilled engineers, technicians and advanced equipment.

The below list  provides a brief introduction to equipment avaliable at in the NCC,  if you cannot see the equipment that you require please contact as we may have addtional capabilities that meet your requirements.



  • Components  design
  • Composite layup
  • Assemblies
  • Manufacturing cost analysis


Structural analysis

  • FEA modelling 
  • Impact simulation
  • Residual stresses
  • Draping


  • Meshing
  • Composites modelling


  • Pre/post-processing


Optistruct & Abaqus

  • Industry proven, modern structural analysis solver
  • FEA based optimisation
  • Composite layup optimisation


Liquid transfer moulding simulation
ESI (Pam RTM and RTM View):

  • RTM
  • VARI
  • Filling strategy optimisation 
  • Filing time analisys
  • Dry sport prediction
  • Complex layup infusions  analysis


  • Simple layup RTM simulation
  • Large structure infusion simulation 


  • 2.5D RTM simulation
  • Custom scripting possible 


Fabric draping modelling

PAM Form


Clean Room 1

Coriolis Twin head Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) machine

  • 8 x 6.35mm / 1/4” tows per head
  • 2 KUKA KR240 L210 cooperating robots on a 7m linear axis
  • 6 Tonne horizontal tool positioner
  • 2 tonne vertical positioner


Clean Room 2

Horizontal Hot Drape Forming System with nine viewing windows –

  • With a max working temp of 200°C features 12 upper and 3 lower heating zones.
  • Tooling load capability of 3000kg and tool size 12.3m x 1.4m x 0.9m
  • Computer programmed for ease of data input and logging
  • 3 themocouples per zone 1x over temp, 1x control, 1x monitoring

10m x 3m flat Invar curing table

8 off 3m x 1.5m layup tables

Laser projection system(Laser Projection Technologies)

  • Uses cad data and projects ply shapes to help operators to accurately position plies & components during lay-up & assembly
  • 3 off new LPT12 targetless laser projectors with feature measurement. These lasers provide precise targetless alignment and measurement along with accurate laser templating.


Clean Room 3

CNC Ply Cutter (Assyst Bullmer- Premiumcut)

  • CNC controlled pre-preg and dry fabric cutting.
    • positional accuracy of 0.1mm
    • Working width 1.8m, cutting window 3m, Max cutting height 20mm
    • Drag and reciprocating knife plus pizza wheel cutting tools
    • Sigmanest nesting software


Curing Area

Autoclave one

  • Size 11 .2m x 3.55m diam
  • Max. Tool size 10m x 3m
  • Max. Pressure 14 bar
  • Max. Temperature 400°c
  • Can cure thermosets and process thermoplastics
  • Nitrogen atmosphere

Autoclave two

  • Max pressure 6.9 bar
  • Max. Temperature 210°c
  • Size 3.6m x 2.4m diam
  • Max. Tool size 3m x 2m
  • Can cure thermosets
  • Normal atmosphere

Hot press

  • Max temp 420°c
  • Force 150 tonnes
  • Plate size 1.4m x 1.2m
  • 15bar nitrogen bladder
  • Thermoset and thermoplastic capability

Curing oven: Large curing oven for out of autoclave curing

  • ~3mx3mx9m max temp 250°c


Machining & Inspection Area

5 axis router

  • Machine capability:
  • X = 13,500mm y = 2,850mm z = 1000mm
  • Components up to 15m long can be machined
  • Flexible tooling if required
  • 20 carriage tool changer
  • Renishaw CMM probe
  • 30,000 rpm spindle with through tool air cooling
  • On tool extraction system

NDT Cell - Automatic C-Scan Machine

  • Manufacturer: intelligeNDT / AREVA
  • Scanning Envelope: 15m x 4m x 1.6m
  • Scanning Speed: max 1000mm/sec
  • Scanning resolution better than 0.5mm
  • 8-axis (X, Y1, Y2, Z1, Z2, A1, A2, B) motion, controlled by Siemens 840D Numerical Control.
  • Automatic scanning of flat and curved components

    Automated Ultrasonic Inspection with A-Scan (Oscilloscope), B-Scan (Cross-Section), C-Scan (Plan View - Signal Amplitude) and D-Scan (Plan View – Thickness) presentation of data.

  • Ultrasonic Techniques:
    • Pulse-Echo Single Probe
    • Pulse-Echo Multi-Probe (up to 8)
    • Pulse-Echo Phased-Array – 32 Channels; max aperture 16 Channels
    • Through Transmission using Water-Jet Squirters.
  • Ultrasonic Features:
    • Frequency Range: 0.5MHz – 10MHz
    • Programmable Distance-Amplitude-Correction (useful for inspection of thicker composites)
    • 6 electronic measuring gates
  • Analysis software tools for measurement of Signal Amplitude, Thickness, dimensions of indications, automatic defect detection and sizing possible (within certain parameters)

Portable Manual/Semi-Automatic Instrument: Olympus Omniscan MX2 16/64

  • 1m x 1m Glider Scanner (encoded manual operation)
  • 64 Channel Phased-Array
  • Single Element
  • 0.5MHz – 20MHz subject to suitable probes
  • A-, B-, C- & S-scan presentation of results
  • Full wave capture allowing post-test processing and detailed evaluation, and measurements.
  • Programmable Distance-Amplitude Correction


Waterjet Cutter

Flow Mach4 with Dynamic XD cutting head

  • 60,000psi (4,159 bar) waterjet (either pure water or water and abrasive)
  • 1.3m x 1.3m cutting envelope
  • Bevelling and 3D cuts up to 55 degrees without taper
  • Produces 2D and 3D parts with tight tolerances at high speeds


Machine Shop

Haas VF-4, 3 axis Vertical Machining Centre

  • Cutting envelope X=1270, Y=508, Z=635mm
  • 20 Hp drive motor
  • 7,500 rpm Spindle speed
  • 20 Tool automatic tool changer

Colchester Lathe

KRV3000 Manual Milling Machine

Benetec slitting saw capable of cutting up to 50mm thickness

Benetec Plate saw


Materials Laboratory

Nikon XTH225ST CT Scanner - Computed Tomography X-ray scanner of small composite components

  • 3 micron focal spot size
  • 225kV, 225W Micro focus X-ray source
  • Maximum sample size 600mm x 600mm
  • Maximum field of view 300mm x 300mm
  • Maximum sample weight 50kg
  • 5-axis manipulation
  • Transmission and Reflection targets

Zeiss EVO MA25 Scanning Electron Microscope

  • Variable pressure
  • Extra large chamber - Internal dimensions: 420 mm (diameter) x 330 mm (high)
  • 5 axis stage
  • LaB6 Emitter

Carl Zeiss Axio Observer Z1M Inverted Microscope High performance optical tool providing the materials engineer with the ability to perform microstructural analysis to particle measurement. Fully motorised stage.

Carl Zeiss Stemi 2000 Stereo Microscope For sharp, distortion-free 3D images 7.7X to 1X Zoom Range. Magnifications of 1.95X to 250X.


Thermal Analysis equipment

DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis) - TA instruments - Q800: For the mechanical measurement of material state change, such as glass transition temperature or creep.

  • Viscoelastic measurements on materials from 1000 Pa to 1000 GPa.
  • The temperature and frequency range of operation are (-150° to 600°C) and (0.01 to 200Hz) respectively.
  • The force range is 0.0001 to 18 Newtons.
  • The amplitude range is 0.5to 10,000 microns with resolution to 1 nanometer over entire the 25mm of drive shaft travel using a linear optical encoder.
  • The Q800 provides ultra sensitive force measurements down to 0.0001 Newtons

DSC(Differential Scanning Calorimeter) - TA instruments - Auto Q2000: Measures temperatures and heat flows associated with thermal transitions in a material. Common usage includes investigation, selection, comparison and end-use performance evaluation of materials. Properties measured include glass transitions, "e;cold"e; crystallization, phase changes, melting, crystallization, product stability, cure / cure kinetics, and oxidative stability. We can look for the enthalpy, glass transition and temperature of reaction enthalpy onset.

  • Autosampler and Mass Flow Control
  • Sensitivity (< 0.2 µW)
  • Resolution (response ratio index > 60)
  • Baseline bow and baseline drift (<10 µW)
  • Operating temperature range is cooling system dependent with a maximum of -180 to 725°C

TGA(Thermogravimetric Analyzer) - TA instruments – Q500: Measures weight change as a function of temperature in a controlled environment . It measures the material ’s thermal stability and composition.

  • Temperature range: Ambient to 1000°C
  • Maximum sample weight 1g
  • Sensitivity ± 0.01%
  • Sensitivity 0.1µg
  • Controlled heating rate 0.01 to 100 °C/min

Thermomechanical Analyzer(TMA) – TA Instruments - Q400: measures sample dimensional changes under conditions of controlled temperature, time, force, and atmosphere.

  • Temerature range -150 to 1000°C
  • Measurement precision ± 0.1%
  • Displacement resolution 15nm
  • Force range 0.001N to 2N
  • Force resolution 0.001N
  • Frequency range 0.01 to 2 Hz



For the measure of flow behaviour in materials, normally in a liquid or soft solid state. The environment can be controlled in terms of temperature, pressure and time. Determines the viscosity profiles for resin systems.

  • AR-G2 Rheometer –TA Instruments: Controlled stress, direct strain and controlled rate rheometer, magnetic thrust bearing, drag cup motor technology for nano-torque control.
    • Torque range [0.000003 to 200 mN.m]
    • Ultra-high resolution [0.025micro rad]
    • High angular velocity[300rad/s]
    • Normal force transducer [0.01 to 50N]
  • ARES-G2 Rheometer - For advanced research and material development. The ARES-G2 offers unique separate motor and transducer technology for the purest rheological measurements. No other rheometer is capable of measuring stress independently of the applied shear deformation.
    • Maximum torque: 200mN.m
    • Minimum torque in oscilation: 0.05µN.m
    • Minimum torque in Steady Shear: 0.1µN.m
    • Torque resolution: 1nN.m
    • Angular velocity range 1 x 10-6 rad/s to 300 rad/s
    • Angular frequency range 1 x 10-7 to 628 rad/s

3 x Fume Cupboards

2 x Curing ovens - Carbolite PF200

  • Maximum temperature 300°c
  • 230 litres capacity
  • Cable ports for vacuum lines etc

10kN Tensile/Compressive Test Machine

  • Instron ElectroPuls E10000 All-Electric Test Instrument
    • Designed for both dynamic and static testing on a variety of materials and components
    • High dynamic performance, capable of performing up to 100 Hz
    • Up to ±10 kN dynamic load capacity and ±7 kN long term static capacity

Environmental chamber

  • TAS-Series 3 LTCL1200
    • Capacity 1728 litres
    • +180°C to–75°C
    • 0%-98%rh

Portable measuring arm with Laser scanner

  • ROMER - Absolute Arm 7535SI with Integrated laser scanner
    • 7 Axis
    • 3.5m measuring range
    • 30µm accuracy
    • 30,000 points/sec acquisition rate

High Speed Camera

  • Photron SA1.1 with 16Gb memory, selection of lenses, 2 x Dedo high intensity light sources.
    • Max frame rate 675,000 frames per second
    • 5,400 fps at 1,024 x 1,024 resolution

Digital Image Correlation

  • Imetrum DIC system with a selection of cameras and lenses
    • Real time non-contact strain measurement
    • Maximum strain resolution 2 micro strain
    • 3.5nm spatial displacement resolution

Cutting, Polishing and Mounting Equipment

  • Buehler IsoMet 5000 – Precision cutter with blade feed system
    • Maximum cutting length 150mm
    • 200 to 5000 rpm cutting speed
    • Motorised sample feed with 2 µm setting accuracy
    • Cutting capacity 50mm
  • 2 x EcoMet 300 Pro + AutoMet 300 Pro – Sample polishing machines
    • 300mm Dia polishing discs
    • Semi-automatic
    • Automatic dispensing system
  • Cast n’Vac – Vacuum impregnation sample mounting equipment


Thermoplastic Cell

Undergoing procurement – Will include;

  • High speed press with infa-red heater and shuttle
  • Robotic handling equipment
  • Injection moulding machine
  • Thermoplastic welding head for robot


Liquid Resin Cell

IsoJet - constant feed pressure pot Resin Injection Machine

DoPag resin mixing and infusion equipment

10litre Piston Pump Resin Injection machine - Undergoing procurement

Dispensing liquid – MasterCaster: low pressure gear pump meter, mix and dispense machine

Dielectric cure monitoring equipment

 +44 (0) 117 370 7600