Spectrographic Limited, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of metallographic equipment and consumables to the material science industry, is providing metallurgical analysis software to BST –manufacturers of high integrity fasteners, which are currently being used in the build of a new generation of super submarines for the Royal Navy.
Image courtesy of BST Supplies Co Ltd & BAE Systems.
The metallurgical analysis software, Material Plus, is an integral part of BST’s new materials testing laboratory, recently supplied and installed by Spectrographic, which is being used for quality inspection procedures.
Spectrographic’s Materials Plus software is a new generation image analysis programme, which is deemed both easy-to-use and extremely efficient by users. It enables scientists to conduct metallurgical investigations easily and delivers excellent results through a cleverly designed reporting function. Available in a wide range of modules, it is compatible with the majority of file formats, and works with live images.
BST is using the software for metallurgical investigation, including checking for cleanliness (non-metallic inclusions) and assessing grain sizes to UKAS and ISO British Standards. The software helps to ensure that the materials they manufacture are of the highest possible quality – an absolute requisite for their work in the defence industry.
The specialist fasteners manufactured by BST for the building of the Royal Navy’s super-submarines, are designed to one thousandth of an inch, ensuring optimum accuracy, and are approved for use in every component of the new submarines.
The Royal Navy is currently undertaking a build programme of seven Astute-class submarines, the first of which, HMS Astute, cost £3.5 billion to build, and was launched in 2007 by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the dockyard in Barrow-in-Furness. According to the Royal Navy’s website, the “HMS Astute has been described as ‘more complex than the Space Shuttle’ and is arguably the finest attack submarine in the world today.”
Paul Bate, Materials Manager at BST, which is based in Bushbury, near Wolverhampton, commented: “The Royal Navy’s on-going Astute Class Programme is a very prestigious project to be involved in. It is our responsibility to work closely with all colleagues to ensure the Ministry of Defence receives quality materials, at cost effective prices. Spectrographic is a crucial part of this process. Their testing equipment is reliable, their prices are good, and our relationship with them enables us to carry out our work to a high standard.”
Spectrographic’s Analysis Software is just a sample of the wide range of metallographic equipment and consumables available from the company, and indeed of those being used by BST. Their hardness testers, polishing machines, microscopes, cameras and cutting machines are being used by companies worldwide, including in the automotive, oil and gas, aerospace industries, and in higher and further education establishments.
Paul Chippendale, Managing Director of Spectrographic, commented: “We’re proud to be supplying BST with testing equipment for use in their work in the defence industry. The analysis software is really exciting stuff, and delivers really accurate results. It is compatible with our cameras and microscopes, which we were also delighted to provide to BST, and represents excellent value for money.”
To find out more about Spectrographic’s products and services please visit www.metallography.co.uk