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NPL Engineers Calibrate 5 MN compression machine at Building Research Establishment Furnace Lab

Calibration engineers from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) visited the furnace laboratory at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Watford, to calibrate a 5 MN compression machine to BS EN ISO 7500:2004.

BRE operates one of the largest fire research and testing laboratories in Europe, and offers research-based consultancy, testing and training as well as expertise in every aspect of the built environment and associated industries.

At their headquarters in Watford, BRE has a purpose-built Burn Hall and furnace laboratory for large-scale testing of the effects of fire in large structures. This is a 5 MN compression machine that due to its high force range could only previously be calibrated up to 2.5 MN.

However, the increase in the demand to test large steel structures and the latest version of the standard EN 13381-8:2013 (Test methods for determining the contribution to the fire resistance of structural members. Applied reactive protection to steel members) created the need to calibrate the machine to higher forces.

Never having calibrated the machine to its maximum, NPL's visit to BRE made it possible to increase the range and traceability of specimens and hence enabling testing on larger structural steel columns.


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