Research and Testing Institute Pilsen (Vyzkumny a zkusebni ustav Plzen s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, hereinafter VZU Plzen) builds on for more than a hundred years long tradition in research and innovations of Skoda Company. The Company operated under brand name of SKODA RESEARCH s.r.o. until 2011. Our Company VZU Plzen currently employs 85 employees and we are a part of the Nuclear Research Group (UJV), a leading research organization in the Czech Republic. Our Company operates accredited laboratories according to CSN EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2005, the quality management system is certified according to CSN EN ISO 9001: 2009.
VZU Plzen provides services for industries such as energy, manufacturing of transportation vehicles and provides industrial services in field of thermally sprayed coatings.
Among main areas of our competences are: complex material diagnostics and accredited testing, measurement of noise and vibrations, strength and thermodynamic modelling and calculations, development and application of thermally sprayed coatings, heat treatment and services of measurement devices calibration.Within these services, the company provides on-site investigation, collects and produces samples for testing, implements accredited tests, or proposes appropriate methodologies for testing, interpreting professional results and recommending optimization measures.
The industrial-oriented services are accompanied by R&D activities, resulting in development and application of innovative technical solutions into the industrial praxes.
Thermal Spraying laboratory
Thermal spraying laboratory fully equipped for R&D and commercial production up to maximum size of thermally sprayed parts: length 6 m, diameter 1.8 m and weight 6 t. The available spraying technologies includes:
- Smart-ARC twin wire arc spray apparatus by Oerlikon Metco and Model 9000 by TAFA Incorporated
- HP/HVOF WokaJet high pressure, high velocity oxy fuel apparatus from Oerlikon Metco and JP 5220 from TAFA Incorporated
- 6P-II flame spray apparatus by GTV and Oerlikon Metco
- Sinplex Pro and F4 plasma spray apparatus by Oerlikon Metco
Heat Treatment laboratory
Comprehensive services in the field of the heat and chemical treatment includes treatment of metal semi finished products and machine parts, consultations and selection of an appropriate material.
- Nitriding furnaces with 150 kg max weight of nitrided components
- KOP furnace Ø 500 mm, height 500 mm
- Silitka furnace 420 mm x 420 mm x 600 mm
- Ripoche furnace 260 mm x 260 mm x 600 mm
- Equipment for alloying, quenching, annealing (max weight of quenched components 15 kg, max weight of annealed components 30 kg, max size of cementing container 400 mm x 160 mm x 220 mm)
- Laboratory furnaces
Mechanical Testing Laboratory
Laboratory is equipped for accredited testing of mechanical properties of metals, plastic materials, composite materials, welded joints (WPQR), including the technology for taking and testing miniature specimens from large machinery parts without the need of dismounting and thus destroying them:
- ZWICK, INSTRON, Schenck-Trebel test apparatuses with loading capacity from 2 N to 600 kN
- Shuttle impulse hammers WPM
- WOLPERT, Vickers Armstrong, WPM, and INSTRON (portable) hardness meters
- Creep laboratory with in-house test apparatus for testing up to 1100 °C temperature and up to 30 kN load
Dynamic Testing Laboratory
The key infrastructure of the Dynamic Test Laboratory is electrohydraulic loading system allowing many channel static and dynamic loading of whole products, parts of the structures and material samples in order to predict their operation lifecycle or experimental validation of their fatigue strength. The loading system is fitted with the state-of-the-art sophisticated control system to simulate operational and exceptional forces accurately and completed with a robust measurement system.
The Dynamic Test Laboratory focuses on certified testing of strength and fatigue lifecycle of structures of transport vehicles, locomotives, railway carriages, trams, underground carriages, buses, automobiles, as well as structural parts of other machineries and power generators. The laboratory equipment enables:
- Accredited testing of strength and fatigue life of means of transport (locomotives, trams, buses, trucks, etc.) structures and structural parts of various machinery (generators of electric power, etc.).
- Simulation of real operational loading. Fatigue tests of structural materials at temperatures up to 1000 °C, seismic resistance and vibration resistance tests, fall tests of products up to the mass of 15 t, strain gauge measurements of uniaxial and plane stresses.
- Testing of real-size products by means of electrohydraulic loading systems in foundation structure of 11,5 x 14,5 m, tests are controlled by a 24-channel fully digital control system for the precise reproduction of the measured vibration during operation. Vibration tables enable simulation of acceleration up to 8 g.
Metallographic and chemical laboratory
The laboratory offers residual service life assessment of structures and equipment, complex analyses of production and service failures, analyses of fracture areas, taking and preparation of metallographic samples, non-destructive testing of materials and structures, check of welded joints, NDT methods of the assessment of metal materials degradation, intercrystalline corrosion tests. The available equipment includes:
- Fully equipped sample preparation room by Struers
- Olympus PMG 3 and Nikon Epiphot 300 light microscopes
- JEOL JSM 6490 LV scanning electron microscope
- JEOL JEM 1200 EX transmission electron microscope
- Q4 TASMAN optical emission spectrometer
- LECO DM-AMH 55 micro-hardness meter
- FTIR, NICOLET 380 infrared spectrometer
- GBC 932 AA atomic absorption spectrometer
- PU 8755/00 spectrophotometer
Laboratory of Noise and Vibration:
The laboratory offers professional services in the field of vibration diagnosis and noise measurement based on long-term experience, focused on measurement of noise, identification of noise sources, noise reduction projects, optimization of structures and anti-noise measures, vibrodiagnostics: operational balancing of rotating machinery (turbines, generators, gearboxes, pumps), measurement of vibration of machines and equipment, vibration tests to check dynamic properties of machinery foundations, dynamic tests of steam turbines foundations. The most modern used devices include:
- PULSE multi-analyzer, Brüel & Kjaer, Denmark
- ME´scopeVES software for modal analysis, Vibrant Technology, USA
- ABACUS measurement system – 24 channels
- NI measurement system (National Instruments)
- ADRE measurement system, Bently Nevada, USA
- B&K energizing apparatus
- B&K accurate integrating sound level meters
- B&K intensity probe
- SoundCam acoustic camera
- Iris vibration camera
Applied Mechanics laboratory
Full computing support of R&D in Mechanical Engineering with the use of the latest approaches – computer simulation, evaluation of experimental data, production of computing applications exploiting up-to date software:
- ANSYS/Mechanical - solution of dynamic, nonlinear problems in the area of structural analysis
- ANSYS/CFD/Fluent – computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer solution
- SIMPACK, alaska – multibody dynamics simulation software
- FEMFAT – solver for material/weld fatigue
- LS-DYNA – solutions of short duration events and large plastic deformations
- MATLAB – environment for calculations, data visualization and creation of in-house computational modules
- software equipment for geometry preparation and meshing (FEMAP, Gambit, ICEM, GridPro)
The Calibration Laboratory for geometric quantities has long track record as the main inspection and measurement centre of standards and special measurements at SKODA Plzen. It focuses on calibration of standards of length and plane angle - end gauges, adjusting calibres, working and workshop gauges, angle meters and directional plates, calibration of torque wrenches, calibration of vibrometers, vibration sensors, vibration systems (vibration tables), vibration monitoring systems at power plants, calibration of load-lifting systems of load machines, working cylinders.
- Standards of end gauges are used for calibration of working gauges, measuring system LEITZ-STRASMANN equipped with plane geometry measurement software, CARYLABOR calibrator for calibration of end gauges - CARY, SIP 1002 M, Trimos LABC1000B, Zeiss 620, TALYCENTA RTH, TALYSURF 6 measuring surface roughness measurement
- NORBAR torque meters are used to calibrate torque wrenches
- For calibration of vibrometers, vibration sensors, vibration systems, Bruel & Kjaer and SPEKTRA standard vibrometers are used
Research and Testing Institute Pilsen provides the R&D activities in close cooperation with partners from academia and industry. The offered services are mainly focused on:
Thermal Spraying - Application of protective coatings highly resistant to wear, abrasion, erosion, corrosion exposed to high temperatures, chemically aggressive environment, etc., which prolong life of machinery parts significantly. Industrial scale application of protective coatings, development and testing of protective coatings for the specific needs of our partners.
Heat Treatment - Heat and chemical-heat treatment of metal semi-finished products and machine parts, manufactured also of stainless.
Mechanical testing - Standard testing as Tensile test, Charpy Tests, Creep Tests, Hardness, Impact Test
Metallographic and chemical testing – The services includes accredited testing in the field of metallography, determination of macro- and micro-structure of materials, chemical analyses of metals, alloys and other inorganic materials, oil-based and other organic substances.
Dynamic Testing - Accredited testing of strength and fatigue life of means of transport (locomotives, trams, buses, trucks, etc.) structures and structural parts of various machinery (generators of electric power, etc.). Simulation of real operational loading; Vibration tables.
Noise and Vibration testing - Measurement of noise, identification of noise sources, noise reduction projects, optimization of structures and anti-noise measures - machines and equipment, means of transport, etc. Vibrodiagnostics, operational balancing of rotating machinery (turbines, generators, gearboxes, pumps), measurement of vibration of machines and equipment.
Applied mechanics - An assessing, simulations and calculations of strength and fatigue lives (both low- and high-cycle), multibody simulations, static and dynamic problems, nonlinear tasks, seismic simulations, strength of welded and glued joints, fluid flow, heat transfer, thermodynamics, cooling, multiphase flow, aeroacoustics, aerodynamics and coupled problems of temperature and stresses fields with consequent strength verification.
Calibration Laboratory - Calibration of standards of length and plane angle; torque wrenches; vibrometers, vibration sensors, vibration systems; load-lifting systems; calibration of length gauges.
Noise and Vibrations Testing