The Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC), located in Brickendonbury, Hertfordshire, has held the opening of its new MRB Rubber Engineering Laboratory.
TARRC is the UK R&D centre of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), which has been carrying out research into rubber and its applications for more than 80 years.
The opening further served as the launch of a new, large-scale test bed designed to validate such engineering components as laminated rubber/metal seismic and structural bearings.
Originally developed to allow for expansion and contraction across bridge decking, these products are now used in building foundations to stabilise the structure during an earthquake event.
Developed by TARRC engineers, the new rig can deliver up to 1,000 tonnes of compression load and 100 tonnes of shear on components up to 1,000mm in diameter.
In addition, the MRB Rubber Engineering Laboratory will offer test equipment for dynamic and multiaxial testing of smaller products, including tyres.
TARRC will use the large-scale test bed for in-house testing, while also offering the setup for research and development projects led by commercial groups and academic centres.
Speaking about the new hardware, Hamid Ahmadi, deputy director of research at TARRC, said: “Because we are a research institute we wanted to know where the industry is going, be ahead of the users of the products across the engineering community.”
He continued: “The more the products are used, the more difficult questions are raised, and we need to be ahead of the game.”