The main aim of the Technology Station is to provide companies within these sectors with subsidised services and assistance in product design, prototype development and tooling design, development and manufacture.

The main objective is to ultimately assist these companies to become more competitive via technology transfer. The rate of subsidisation involved depends on the size of the company, turnover, ownership and the particular project.

Within the Technology Station there are three operating units.


Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory

In the moulded plastics arena, the AML is equipped with CNC machine tools and focuses on:

Product design
Tooling design
Tooling manufacture

General machining can also be undertaken.

Within the Centre are four highly qualified and experienced professors of mechanical engineering, who interact with industry via the Technology Station.

CNC turning center
3 axis CNC machining center
Universal & turret mills
Large lathe
Spark eroder
Surface grinder
Gibbs CNC software
Mouldflow software
200T Injection Machine
Blow Moulding Machine
Coordinate Measuring Machine – NEW
PC DMIS software

Design Unit

The TS Industrial Design Unit specialises in conceptual design and design verification of metallic and non-metallic fabrications and systems and makes use of some of the most sophisticated design analysis software and techniques (like finite element analysis – FEA) available. The Unit focuses on conceptual design, design analysis, optimisation and verification of non-metallic (and metallic):

Aerospace and other advanced structures
Custom fabrications
Pressure and vacuum vessels
Process tanks and vessels
Specialised process equipment

SolidEdge (CAD)
MSCNastran (FEA)
Caesar II (pipeline flexibility analysis)
FibreSim (laminate analysis)

Prototyping and Testing Unit

The PPT Unit specialises in the fabrication of prototypes and tooling for the composites sector. Materials and structural testing can also be undertaken.

Closed mould
Wet layup
Vacuum bagging
Oven (1m x 0.5m)
Autoclave (1.5 m diameter, 3m length)
Cold-storage (for prepreg materials)
Computer controlled Lloyds universal testing machine (30 kN capacity)
Test grips for ASTM testing of composite materials (in-Plane properties)
Real-time strain capture and monitoring capability
Acoustic emission unit
Digital ultrasound unit
Radiographic unit
Microscopy capability (including SEM)
Ignition loss testing

Services Offered

We provide companies within the fibre-reinforced plastics and moulded plastics sector with subsidized services and assistance in product design, prototype development and tooling design.

Subsidized services include:

Contact Information

Design: Ryan Hamilton
Tel: 031 373 2543
Campus: Steve Biko Campus

Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory: Brett Clarke
Tel: 031 373 2858
Campus: Steve Biko Campus

Prototyping and Testing: Ebrahim Cassim
Tel: 031 373 2995
Campus: Steve Biko Campus