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BM TRADA unveil modernised timber lab

BM TRADA, specialists in testing, inspection and certification services, has unveiled its modernised timber laboratory following an extensive refurbishment and investment.

Part of Element Materials Technology, BM TRADA’s three-month long revamp at its High Wycombe facility includes a complete overhaul of the laboratory’s layout. The space is now divided into two dedicated areas, with one room designated for timber inspection and timber species analysis, and the other room for woodworking and timber testing.

Alongside the new layout, the laboratory has been stripped down and a host of new equipment has been installed. This includes new storage, dust extraction units, boil tanks and water baths for woodwork testing; and microscope testing kits to analyse timber specimens.

The organisation has also fitted new tools and rigs for fastener and fixing testing for structural timber connections, which will be operated by Element Material Technology’s Warringtonfire brand; as well as a cast iron engineering table for measuring the straightness of wood samples and inspecting for timber distortion.

Ben Sharples, Commercial Lead at BM TRADA, said: “We decided to refurbish our timber laboratory following an increase in demand for timber testing and certification requirements. We are also anticipating a sharp rise in demand for Warringtonfire’s new fastener and fixing testing for structural timber connections, due to the looming UKCA marking deadline.

“As well as timber construction, we’ve witnessed more demand for timber species verification from a wide variety of markets. We house one of the largest libraries of timber specimens, known as a xylarium, in the country at High Wycombe. With our new laboratory and equipment, we can continue improving on this service and providing even more accurate advice and knowledge on different types of wood.”

In addition to the new test equipment, the refurb project also brings a significant saving from energy usage. New LED lighting has been installed throughout the laboratory, which will reduce energy consumption by up to 75% over the course of the year.

Mr Sharples concluded: “As part of the largest global organisation in testing, inspection and certification, one of our key commitments is on being as sustainable as possible. Our investment into new lighting will not only create a better working environment for our colleagues, but drastically reduce our energy output and carbon emissions too.”

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