National Physical Laboratory

Metals + Alloys

Engine BlockEngine block

NPL is actively supporting and working with the UK metal industries on various aspects of characterisation, processing, modelling and measurement.

NPL has successfully led projects developing innovative methods and data for the characterisation and modelling of advanced metallic systems, over the whole component lifecycle; impacting on metal processing technologies, materials development, performance, lifetime, structural integrity, corrosion, high temperature degradation and recycling. Outputs of the research have been distributed through NPL scientific publications and international standards to promote confidence and good practice in the measurements and data.

Aspects of the current work are aimed at:

  • Developing novel and well-characterised test methods for generating validated data for modelling. This includes thermodynamic predictions and modelling to underpin the specification of composition and phase structure, processing kinetics, the prediction of performance from a knowledge of microstructure, and modelling of durability.
  • Techniques such as high-resolution microscopy, EDX, EBSD, microhardness mapping, miniaturised testing and in-situ strain mapping measurements for assessing complex microstructures and new alloy compositions.
  • Measurement methods to assess the performance, structural integrity and long term durability of metals from exposure to thermal and mechanical cycling, aggressive environments, and interactions between these effects.
  • Innovative measurement methods to facilitate the implementation of new and improved processing routes such as precision and near net shape forming and rapid manufacturing technologies.


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