National Physical Laboratory

Testing services

Corrosion and Environment Induced Cracking

  • Testing in H2S environments
    • dedicated test laboratory
  • Materials selection for resistance to environment assisted cracking
    • proof rings, 4 pt bend, C-rings; slow strain rate and corrosion fatigue, HIC
    • drop-evaporation SCC kit
    • hydrogen permeation test systems to measure hydrogen uptake and diffusion rate
  • 18 autoclaves for high pressure/high temperature testing up to 250 °C and up to 1000 bar
  • Corrosion inhibition measurement
    • small-scale flow loop
    • multi-electrode underdeposit corrosion facility
  • Pitting, crevice and intergranular corrosion evaluation
    • crevice assemblies
    • galvanic corrosion testing
    • electro-potential reactivation test for intergranular corrosion in sensitized alloys and for depleted zones associated with particles (e.g. σ-phase in DSS)
    • critical pitting temperature
    • pitting and repassivation potentials at elevated temperature and pressure
    • potentiodynamic tests
    • scanning electrochemical microscopy
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy
  • Failure analysis
  • Corrosion consultancy

Electrochemical Testing and Imaging

  • Potentiostatic/potentiodynamic polarisation
  • Rotating disc/cylinder electrode systems
  • Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM)
  • Scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM)
  • Scanning vibrating electrode system (SVET)
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)

Fuel Cells

  • Single cell and short stack testing up to 2 kW (PEMFC)
  • Instrumented single cell testing - in situ measurement of potential, humidity, temperature, localised current density
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy
  • Corrosion testing of metallic bipolar plates
  • Electrochemical characterisation of fuel cell electrocatalysts


  • Battery testing up to 80 A
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy
  • Thermal imaging
  • X-ray tomography

Material Characterisation

  • Scanning probe microscopies
    • AFM - Atomic force microscopy: topography
    • SKPM - Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (atmospheric and ultra-high vacuum)
    • C-AFM - Conductive AFM: nanoscale current response
  • Surface analysis
    • XPS - X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: surface chemical composition
    • UPS - Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy: material workfunction
    • TOF-SIMS – Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry: chemical depth profiling
    • Contact angle measurement: hydrophobicity
    • Spectroscopic ellipsometry: film thickness and optical properties
  • Morphological characterisation
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with EDX and WDX analysis
    • Field emission SEM: high-resolution images of nanoscale topographic features
    • Electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD)
    • Confocal and optical microscopy: surface topography
    • White-light interferometry: surface roughness, topography
  • Mechanical characterisation
    • Mechanical properties: modulus, yield strength, UTS, stress/strain curves
    • Nano-indentation: modulus, creep, hardness and impact properties
  • Rheology


For more information about our testing services, please contact Bridget Davies (T: 020 8943 8681)


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission