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Advanced engineering materials

Advanced materials metrology strategy

A new approach to delivering the UK materials metrology infrastructure

Advanced materials are an important underpinning technology, which are key to many of our critical technologies, they show significant improvement in properties or performance compared to conventional materials, There are many classes of advanced materials, including advanced coatings, advanced structural alloys, bio-, composites, electronic, energy, multi-functional, and nano-materials, which are being used to enhance many different types of products, such as low loss electronics or providing new functionalities. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has published the UK's National Advanced Materials Metrology Strategy, which has been developed following an in-depth review of UK and international strategies for advanced materials and metrology.  

Download the strategy now

To be able to develop these new technologies and techniques with confidence, we need to measure the properties of advanced materials with greater accuracy and precision, enabling the design of materials that have never been possible before. Materials metrology is the science of measurement and is key to achieving this greater accuracy and precision. It improves the understanding of the sources of variability through a rigorous approach and provides confidence in measurements and materials data by improving reproducibility, reliability and comparability, which enables discovery, scale-up, industry adoption and reduces investment risk.

The importance of metrology for advanced materials is clear. The challenges are complex and intertwined within many sectors and across the different classes of advanced materials. NPL has consulted with leading stakeholders and this strategy focusses on two urgent drivers – the energy transition and digitalisation, as well as the predominant themes that come from these two drivers – measurement at frontiers, and smart and interconnected metrology. 

Understanding how these material properties link to the ultimate performance of the final real-world products enables more rapid innovation and growth in exciting new areas of research and companies. However, without the ability to accurately and reliably measure the properties of advanced materials, both researchers and industry alike cannot progress either the materials or their applications with confidence.

Professor David Knowles, CEO - Henry Royce Institute

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