Test and Research Infrastructure

Each partner of P3Lab has excellent facilities. Many of these facilities have added value for industrial and other stakeholders.

Below an overview of these specific facilities. Via 'Partners' you can find out more details about the facilities of the individual partners.

Simulation and design equipment

The simulation tools are primarily finite element based mechanical modelling tools. A wide variety of techniques are used to model fatigue, impact, crack propagation, delamination, breaking waves, ….

Ghent University has a high performance computing cluster with over 2000 cores and 720 GB RAM to support all kinds of computer modelling activities.

Commercial software

  • implicit and explicit finite element suite ABAQUS
  • explicit finite element code LS-Dyna
  • open source finite element code Code_Aster
  • HyperMesh and Gmsh high-performance finite-element pre-processors
  • composite draping software (Catia/CPD, Simulayt/Composite Modeler)
  • software for kinematics and multi body dynamics (Universal Mechanism)
  • optimization software (iSight, evolutionary strategies)
  • numerical software (Mathcad, Matlab, Maple, Mathematica)
  • CAD/CAE software (SolidWorks, Catia)
  • data acquisition software (LabVIEW)

In-house developments

  • SERVE: Statistically Equivalent Representative Volume element (RVE) software
  • ORAS: Object-Oriented RVE
  • Blade Mesher: meshing tools for large wind turbine blades

Prototyping tools

We have several machines at your disposal such as:

  • 3D BioScaffolder
  • 4 FDM based & modified machines for research
  • 2 new printing head methods
  • 3D printers: Objet30Pro, Dimension SST 1200es
  • lowCost printers in collaboration with the FEA department of Material Sciences and Engineering and other FEA departments
  • VersaLASER lasercutter and engraver
  • Schluechl vacuum casting application
  • milling machines: ISEL 3 axis, ISEL ICP 4030 4 axis milling machine
  • thermoforming for shell prototypes and small series
  • manual prototyping tools and materials
  • tool & equipment for AM extrusion based wire production
  • joined equipment with project partners (SLA, SLS, SLM, FDM, EBM, ...)

Polymer processing machines

  • 4 injection machines (Engel 80T, Engel 28T, Boy 22T, Klockner 70T)
  • 3 single screw extruders (2 Brabender lab extruders, 1 axson compounder)
  • 2 twin screw extruders (Coperion 18D & 1 reactive extruder)
  • extrusion blow moulder Bekum
  • stretch blow moulder Bekum
  • co-injection/intrusion Main
  • 3 thermoset presses
  • extrusion plate die 150mm
  • extrusion blow film die diameter 150mm
  • extrusion blow moulding bottle 1L
  • extrusion stretch blow moulding bottle 1L
  • thermoforming mould for packaging applications
  • injection moulds for research
  • co-extrusion 2 layer plate die 120 mm
  • collaborative equipment of other FEA research groups
  • coming soon: co-extrusion plate die 500 mm (1/3/5 layers) and co-extrusion blow film die (1/2/3 layers)
  • coming soon: plate & foil co-extrusion unit equipped with 2 single screw extruders and 1 conical twin screw extruder
  • Hercules funding type 1 'Flaminco': co-extrusion and lamination equipment for integration of functional components in advanced multilayer materials.

Testing equipment

- Mechanical testing equipment

There is a very wide variety of mechanical testing equipment available. A small sample is indicated below. For more information, please contact us.

• Impact

  • bird strike set-up for real birds and gelatine replicas
  • pneumatic launcher
  • 2 drop weight towers (3 m and 6 m)
  • lab-scale set-up for slamming wave impact
  • 3 digital high speed cameras (up to 250,000 fps)
  • high-end transient recorder/oscilloscope (up to 100 MHz sampling rate)
  • Charpy impact tests (dynamic fracture toughness)
  • dynamic load cells, accelerometers, displacement sensors

• Fatigue

  • 2 servohydraulic machines
  • accessories for tension-compression and pure shear testing
  • devices for 3- and 4-point bending
  • 2 extensometers
  • electrical resistance measurement


  • 2D and 3D Digital Image Correlation (static and high-speed)
  • optical fibre sensors and read-out equipment (up to 2 kHz)
  • ultrasound phased array (64 probes)
  • shadow and projection moire
  • ultrasound scanning facility for C-scans and polar scans
  • Schlieren set-up for acousto-optics research

• General mechanics

  • electromechanical testing machine with temperature chamber (-150°C up to +350°C)
  • electrodynamic shaker (up to 10 kHz)
  • laser vibrometer
  • set-up for measurement of modal frequencies and frequency-dependent modal damping
  • fracture mechanics tests for composites and polymers (DCB, ENF, ELS, TDCB, CT)
  • fracture mechanics tests for adhesives (dolly testing, DCB testing)
  • long-term experience with outdoor field testing without electrical grid connection (sailing yachts, wave energy devices, bicycle frames,…)
  • dart drop

- General characterization equipment

  • dynamometers up to 5kN (including heating chamber)
  • peel tester
  • MFI
  • weatherometer
  • viscosimeter