Brookes Bell opens new metallurgy, fuel testing and non-destructive testing laboratory


Brookes Bell, a global technical and scientific consultancy, has officially opened its new high-end laboratory. The virtual opening, which was shared with over 50 online attendees, included a walk-through introduction with the technical leads of Brookes Bell’s enhanced and new departments: metallurgy, fuel testing, non-destructive testing (NDT) and paint sample inspections.

The new 8000 sq ft facility has been developed in Bidston, Wirral, near Liverpool in the UK, and includes advanced testing and inspection facilities, a modern laboratory, engineering workshop space, flexible training facilities and offices. The new laboratory will help to reinforce the multi-disciplinary technical and scientific services Brookes Bell currently offers, allowing the company to develop business opportunities beyond its existing marine and energy clients, responding to interest and enquiries from new customers.

Ken Kirby, Director of Metallurgy and NDT, said: “With the development of this high-end facility, we can now provide laboratory services to local industry, as well as providing our existing clients with an alternative service that has been built cognisant of the requirements of the marine and energy industry for forensic investigations. With the support of a large, diverse team of consultant engineers, naval architects, master mariners and scientists from a whole range of different backgrounds, we believe we can offer a first-class laboratory service to clients, as well as creating a centre of excellence for training and development.”

Matt Calveley, Laboratory Manager and Technical Lead for Metallurgical Services, added: “With increasing demand coming from within and outside of the maritime industry, this new testing facility will help us provide a greater range of services to support our clients in sectors such as traditional maritime, superyachts and energy. With our advanced investigative laboratory equipment, such as our scanning electron microscope, portable laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analyser and the Olympus DSX1000 digital optical microscope (one of the leading industrial light microscopes), we can offer clients a cutting-edge service in forensic and metallurgy failure investigations.”

Arron Jackaman, Technical Lead for NDT Services at the laboratory, commented: “The laboratory will be a centre of excellence for the exciting range of cutting-edge and unique NDT applications we have been developing over the past 18 months. The facility here will enable us to continue to work with collaborative industrial partners and clients alike to deliver state-of-the-art NDT services and world-first applications.”

Jenny Davies, Fuel Services Lead, said: “The new laboratory houses a state-of-the-art fuel testing facility, which will allow Brookes Bell to meet the increasing demand and complex nature of fuel-related investigations and claims. We will be able to test fuel samples in accordance with Table 2 of ISO 8217, highlighting sub-standard samples and helping to identify the causes and origins of any fuel-related problems. Our advanced analytical equipment will enable us to provide more exploratory and detailed analysis options over and above Table 2 of ISO 8217.”

Ray Luukas, Chief Technical Officer at Brookes Bell, said: “Brookes Bell has been providing multi-disciplinary marine consultancy services to the marine and energy sectors since 1903. This significant investment will enable us to grow the business in new areas by applying our expertise to deliver more complex and technical services alongside our casualty investigation, forensic analysis, technical dispute resolution and expert witness work, ensuring the company’s market-leading position for many more decades.”