FRACTURE TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATES
FTA is a commercial, independent testing laboratory owned and operated by J. Keith Donald, an internationally-recognized expert
with over 40 years experience in the field of experimental fracture mechanics. With a small but dedicated staff, FTA provides
and tailored software systems to a wide
variety of private and government customers, including leading manufacturers
of aircraft and aerospace materials; suppliers to the transportation
and ground vehicles industry; producers of specialist metals;
and the energy industry.
We are located in a 4,500 sq. foot custom-built facility in Bethlehem, PA, USA. Great care has been taken in the
design of the lab to provide the optimum environment for sensitive measurements: temperature and relative humidity are
precisely controlled year-round; tests are isolated from electric noise; and all frames are controlled by
independent hydraulic power supplies. The lab is a showpiece of which we are very proud and
customers are always welcome.
The quality of doing business with FTA
Since Keith is the principal scientist as well the owner of the business, customers deal directly with him,
receiving the highest levels of service and support. He personally supervises day-to-day testing and reviews all data carefully as
programs proceed. An important advantage of FTA's size is the
speed with which customer questions and concerns can be addressed. FTA's customers have such confidence in our
work that many have been with us since the company's founding over 30 years ago.
FTA employs the same quality systems expected of larger labs: testing is carried out in accordance with the latest ASTM standards and all
calibrations of primary equipment are traceable to NIST. A copy of our quality manual is available upon request.
How is FTA unique?
In addition to its commercial testing functions, FTA is committed to the further study of fatigue crack growth and fracture toughness
of metals. Keith has been chair or co-chair of several ASTM task groups, including Near-Threshold Fatigue Crack Growth;
Non-Visual Methods of Crack Length Determination; and Crack Closure Measurement.
Unique and ground-breaking
research is on-going in the lab, both independently and with industry partners.
Areas of special interest include:
- ACR (adjusted compliance ratio) techniques
- the correlation of small and long cracks
- residual stress effects on fatigue crack growth
- FCGR master curve for improved life prediction