Key Dimensions

The FastBlade facility has been designed for high quality testing of tidal blades and other large composite structures.

Loading Application Area

FastBlade's primary loading application area can accommodate specimens over 12m in length. The FastBlade reaction frame is designed with the ability to adapt to a variety of specimen sizes and shapes by utilising any of the strong points on the reaction frame bed or support wall. Hydraulic rams can be connected anywhere along the reaction frame bed which is 12m x 2.5m.

Connection plate

Connection of specimens to the support wall is done via a 2.3m diameter adapter plate. The adapter plate features 2 separate bolted connection areas for various specimen sizes and load capacities, either 1200mm PCD or 2000mm PCD for large specimens at full load capacity. Individual interface plates will provide the connection between specimens and the reaction frame adapter plate.

fastblade connection plate

Hydraulic System

The loads are delivered by an Artemis hydraulic pumps, capable of 800 litres per minute of bi-directional flow. The actuation system will recover energy between cycles to reduce the energy consumed and ultimately reduce the cost of testing. The hydraulic actuators and manifold blocks are co-developed and supplied by FOX VPS.

Crane Capacity

Two 10 tonne overhead travelling cranes are available for offloading and installation of specimens. Cranes may be operated independently or synchronised together to simplify dual lifts.

fastblade cranes


FastBlade offer an expandable, configurable and calibrated instrumentation suite that can be tailored to meet every client's needs. The backbone of the system is based on NI hardware and LabVIEW for distributed logging and control with time sensitive networking (TSN) for synchronisation. For more information see here:

fastblade instrumentation

The system uses low profile pancake load cells from Applied Measurements.

FastBlade will use multicam DIC from MatchID.

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