SHPB Value Proposition | REL Inc.

SHPB / Kolsky Bar Value Proposition and Testimonials

REL’s SURE-Test Systems – Hopkinson / Kolsky Bar Value Proposition:

Conceptually the testing apparatus of a typical SHPB / Kolsky Bar system is not complex so there is a question whether a SHPB system can be built in-house by a machine shop. The answer may be ‘yes, a system could be built’, but not a robust, cost effective system.

The typical amount of time an event takes in a SHPB / Kolsky Bar test is 30-200 micro-seconds. For comparison, the typical reaction time for a human to react to a touch, sound or visual event is 0.15-0.25 seconds (15000-25000 micro-seconds). This would be enough time for 100 of the events measured in a SHPB / Kolsky Bar test, therefore the testing system and setup is critical in obtaining high integrity data and accurate materials properties at various high strain rates.

The following the value proposition of each approach: 1) Buying a SURE-Test System from REL or 2) building one in-house.

  1. Buy a SURE-TEST System from REL:
    • 8-12 weeks for delivery and installation
    • Training for grad students and/or research personnel and continued support from REL’s staff to insure good test setup, high integrity, publishable data
    • Students/Research personnel are obtaining good test results within 3-4 months of deciding to acquire a system.
    • Access to REL’s 15 years of high strain rate testing experience when designing new testing setups or testing ‘weird’ materials
    • REL’s Modular System Pricing starts at around $100k for base compression systems.
    • Multiple modules such as: test fixtures, cameras, heating, and lighting systems are available for expanding your system’s capability. Click here to view our SURE-Test SystemsTM
  2. For University/Research Institute To Build:
    • 2 grad students – 2 years – ~ $15k each/year – ~$60k
    • 1 professor – 3-5 months of oversight – ~$25k
    • Materials & Outside Machining – ~$50k

    To begin to get good, consistent data:

    • 1 grad student – 2 years – ~$30k
    • 1 professor – 3 months – ~$25k
    • Materials – ~$10k

    Time and Budget to obtain repeatable/publishable data:

    • 3 years and over $200,000

For more information about REL’s SURE-Test Systems click here. REL works with customers across the United States and worldwide. Our systems can be found in numerous universities, research institutes and companies around the world. Contact us today.


“I really appreciate all you have done to support for my research group. You guys are amazing; plain and simple! I am so glad that I got to know you and looking forward to doing more business with you.”

    Kavan Hazeli, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
    University of Alabama in Huntsville


“We’ve had a superb experience with REL Inc.’s split Hopkinson bar system. Our group uses compression and tension bar systems designed by REL, and both readily integrate into the same data acquisition hardware and the SurePulse software. It’s an extremely convenient package. We were able to start generating production quality data almost immediately after installation. Post-installation support from REL has also been excellent, and they’ve been able to offer valuable insight for specific projects students are running. The SurePulse software is very well done, and has allowed even undergrad students to very quickly get up to speed on bar calibration and analysis of experiments.”

    Joe Hooper, Ph.D.
    Asst. Prof., Department of Physics
    Naval Postgraduate School

REL Inc.