FTA was owned and operated by J. Keith Donald, an internationally-recognized expert with over 40 years of experience in the field of experimental fracture mechanics. The company has performed Fracture Mechanics Testing, including Fatigue Crack Growth Rate Testing (FCGR) to ASTM E647 and non-linear Fracture Toughness Testing (NLFT) to ASTM E1820 and E1921. FTA also provided all of the software and data acquisition hardware required for customers to run their own FCGR and NLFT tests.
Laboratory Testing Inc. began as a Non-destructive Testing Lab in 1984 with twenty employees housed in a 30,000 sq. ft. shop and office. Since then, the Lab has grown into many complementary lines of business with 175 employees and 102,000 sq. ft. of building space. The business is family run by some of the children and grandchildren of the founder, Robert W. McVaugh, Sr. LTI is highly experienced in Fracture Mechanics, with its own Department that provides NADCAP and A2LA accredited Fatigue Crack Growth and Fracture Toughness Testing.
The Lab is also well-versed in FTA software, with all of its 19 servo-hydraulic mechanical test frames operating with the software systems. Mike McVaugh, second-generation family member and President of LTI, said “LTI is enthusiastic about the opportunity to enhance and expand existing service, support, and training capabilities. LTI also plans to invest in ongoing software development to increase features and functions which will improve the productivity of software users.”
Keith Donald has worked closely with the fracture mechanics team at LTI over the past few years to pass along his years of research and experience. The two companies have collaborated on significant cutting-edge projects in the fatigue crack growth arena. McVaugh explained, “Keith will continue to consult with our team to ensure a smooth transition, while also continuing his pioneering research in the field”.
Construction of a new Fracture Mechanics Lab is well under way at LTI with over twice the square footage of the present lab. It will house LTI’s current test frames and allow for the addition of FTA’s 10 frames and staff within the next year. In the meantime, FTA's test systems will be operated for additional capacity at the FTA building in Bethlehem, PA. According to Brandon McVaugh, grandson of LTI’s founder and the Director of Operations, “We plan to integrate FTA’s equipment and personnel into the Fracture Mechanics Department at Laboratory Testing Inc. within the next year. They will remain operational, as an extension of LTI.”