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Providing confidence throughout the entire additive manufacturing process 

Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is an increasingly popular technique which provides increased design freedom and processing routes. This can be exploited to develop innovative materials, parts and components, often with complex shapes, less material wastage, improved strength to weight ratios and built-in functionality. The benefit of producing end-products with limited or no further machining, combined with rapid advances and ready access to AM production technology has seen a rapid rise in product applications using a wide range of metals. 

However, it is important to recognise the challenges in deploying these products as processed, including the inhomogeneous and graded microstructure, strong crystallographic texture, elemental segregation, residual stress, surface roughness, shrinkage fissures, pores, and mechanical properties that may be directionally sensitive.  

For AM parts it is critical to establish feedstock-process-structure-property-performance relationships, particularly in safety critical applications. The lack of understanding and standardisation to capture the structural integrity of AM parts is still seen as a major limiting factor in the uptake and adoption of AM in load-bearing safety critical applications. We provide customers a range of bespoke testing and measurement to deliver the independent validation they need to be confident in their material selection and performance.

A comprehensive list of tests and services  

NPL scientists and engineers have a suite of microstructural, analytical mechanical, non-destructive evaluation, thermal analysis and modelling techniques to help provide materials assurance through validated test methods, rooted in over a century of metrology. Through this, we provide customers with a range of bespoke testing and measurement to deliver the independent validation they need to be confident in their material selection and performance.

DIC/Data analysis

Mechanical testing


Data analytics

Powder metallurgy

Polymer processing rheology

Surface analysis

3D microstructural analysis

Dimensional analysis





Contact & non-contact measurement testing

Comparative analysis

Dielectric and microwave testing

Thermophysical analysis


Thermal expansion


A new series of technical webinars

We provide technical webinars on advanced materials characterisation which you can watch from your desk. Find out about upcoming webinars or view past webinars.

Advanced engineering materials webinars 

How our cutting-edge research can help your organisation

Aerospace            Automotive      Defence and security          

Energy and utilities    Environment        Food and agritech              

Healthcare          IT and telecoms          Life sciences                   

Manufacturing     Oil and gas                Space

We’re here to help

Still struggling to work out what you need? We pride ourselves on giving sound technical advice to guide you. By combining expert advice, standard tests and bespoke consultancy, you can be confident in our approach.

Contact us

Find out more about NPL’s Advanced materials

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070