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MERL has changed to Element Hitchin

Following the acquisition of Materials Engineering Research Laboratory Limited (MERL) by Element Materials Technology in August 2012, we are pleased to announce that with effect from April 1, 2013 the MERL business has transferred to a new entity, Element Materials Technology Hitchin Limited (“Element Hitchin”).

As part of Element, all the resources and knowledge of MERL, the test facilities and staff will continue to provide the same services as before. However, in addition to the support of Element Hitchin, the full scope of Element's network of testing laboratories and experts are also available to our clients.

Element is a global network of laboratories with experts specialising in materials testing, product qualification testing and failure analysis for the Aerospace & Defence, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, and Transportation sectors. The team of 1100 scientists, engineers and technicians work in laboratories located throughout the U.S. and Europe. For complete Accreditations & Approvals and more information please visit www.Element.com.

Element Hitchin (MERL) have, over 25 years of trading, developed world-class expertise in elastomers, thermoplastics, composites and structural adhesives in diverse applications and industries (oil and gas, chemical processing, automotive, rail, renewable energy, marine, aerospace, medical, and more). Projects range from the reliability of materials in offshore oil and gas exploration, to the performance of a new polymer material for heart valves and the use of composite materials in military aircraft structures. The growth in the expertise of the people has been supported by the continued growth and expansion of testing and analytical capability in the various laboratories.


Element Hitchin/MERL is based in Hitchin (north of London, UK) and has an international client base with typically 70% of business coming from outside of UK from regions including North and South America, Europe, India, Middle East, Australia and China. A major part of the business is in managing single client projects on behalf of a loyal and expanding client base. Numerous consortium projects have also been performed that have generated invaluable data, methodologies, facilities and knowledge enabling us to develop world-class facilities and expertise that is available to clients across the world.


services include all aspects of polymer engineering including product development and testing, independent consultancy, mechanical testing, chemical and environmental exposure testing, advanced finite element analysis, inspections and audits, test equipment and instrumentation design.

industry sectors served by Element Hitchin/MERL include oil & gas, medical, aerospace, automotive, marine, rail, renewable energy, and civil engineering.

materials expertise covers elastomers (general engineering grades and specialised formulation), composites (carbon, glass and natural fibre reinforced), adhesives and thermoplastics.



Element Hitchin/MERL are involved in a range of current UK Government and EC funded projects - click below for some of the latest.

  • CQCC: Continuous Quality Control for Composites for the Next Generation Flexible Pipe
  • NDT2DT: New ICT Approach to Automate Non-destructive Testing and Inspections with Evaluation of Damage Tolerance in Composite Structures
  • GlaCERCo: Glass Ceramics Composites – An Initial Training Network
  • CEDESA: Centre of Excellence for the Design of Efficient and Safe Aircraft
  • WASIS: Composite Fuselage Section Wafer Design Approach for Safety Increasing in Worst Case Situations and Joints Minimizing
  • ESPOSA: Efficient Systems and Propulsion for Small Aircraft
  • LA WOCS: Laser Transmission Welding of Thermoplastic Composite Structures



© 2014 Element Hitchin. The registered company address of:
Element Materials Technology Hitchin Limited is 5 Fleet Place, London EC4M 7RD,
Registered in England. Company registration number: 08149114.

Tel: +44(0)1462 427 850
Polymer Engineering, Testing, Inspection, Research and Development, UK