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Advanced engineering materials

Surface engineering and coatings

Understanding the surface properties

From water droplet erosion to environmental corrosion, understanding what alters the surface properties of a material and how it performs in harsh environments is critical to lifetime management, failure analysis and confidence in the selection of materials for fit-for-purpose products and components.

The surface of a material can be altered by factors such as exposure to water, dust, extremes in temperature, chemicals and mechanical loading. NPL has many measurement techniques available that can be applied to both bulk surfaces and to advanced coatings which are deposited on or at the surface to increase wear or erosion resistance or reduce friction. We offer a range of testing services and consultancy that can be tailored to your specific needs. These include the evaluation of the mechanical properties of engineered surfaces, sliding wear and friction testing, abrasion and erosion testing, and nanomechanical testing.

We operate across many sectors including the manufacturing industries, aerospace, automotive energy and defence. We always work with customers so that they can obtain the confidence that they need to evaluate their materials for better design and performance. A particular emphasis is to work with the surface engineering industry so that they can optimise their processing, enabling digitalised manufacture and design of surface engineered products.

Our world experts in complementary disciplines are available to help clarify requirements, interpret results and solve problems for customers. As the UK's National Measurement Institute, you can trust the independence and impartiality of our findings.

Don’t see what you are looking for? Our diverse skill set enables us to provide bespoke solutions. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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Find out more about NPL’s research on Surface engineering

Find out about our tribological testing

Mechanical Test Facility

Find out more about NPL’s Mechanical Test Facility for physical and virtual product assurance of advanced materials

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