Refrigerated material test laboratory (Cold test labs)

Research facility highlights

Material testing for the marine industry often requires low temperatures and specialized equipment. This NRC laboratory is uniquely capable of meeting those demands with precise measurement and analysis of results.

The laboratory consists of four rooms with independent refrigeration systems, capable of temperatures to -32 °C. Tests include uni-axial compressive and tensile strength, using force measurement load cells (piezo-electric and strain gauge), LVDTs, extensometers and accelerometers.

What we offer

The facility has a variety of equipment for ice preparation, video recording and data acquisition. The material test system consists of a 1 MN load frame with maximum force of 160 kN and maximum actuator speed of 130 mm/s. A 100 kN load frame with maximum force of 25 kN and maximum speed of 1600 mm/s is also available. Stock platens include a variable length triple-point beam (up to 1.1 m) and a temperature controlled compressive platen of Ø 15.2 cm. A triaxial cell with a confining pressure of 25 MPa is also available upon request.

The four rooms, each with independent refrigeration systems, are as follows. First room is for sample preparation, the second room is for testing, the third is an anteroom which maintains a constant temperature of 0 °C, and the fourth is maintained at a nominal temperature for long-term ice storage. The fourth room is often used for ice tank ice quality and general laboratory work where temperature control is less critical.

Why work with us?

In working with industry to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, the NRC plays a critical role in de-risking and demonstrating technologies in order to support industry bringing them to market. Working with NRC offers you the competitive advantage of world-class, customizable testing facilities combined with the broad knowledge and experience of our in-house research staff. NRC capitalizes on our professional employees who have extensive experience in advanced engineering for complex water environments.


Fees vary depending on the project and your requirements. For further information, contact Portfolio Business Advisor, Mark Murphy, at 709-772-2105, or by email at:


Mark Murphy
Telephone: 709-772-2105
LinkedIn: Mark Murphy