Fast-tracking the development of new materials

The need

There is increasing pressure on global industry to produce lighter, stronger, more durable products, and do so more quickly and cost-effectively. In order to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced materials and processes, greater understanding of materials performance is needed, underpinned by improved materials measurement. It is only through standardised testing and characterisation methods that industry can have the confidence to employ new materials, and reap the benefits that they offer.

The impact

We are developing techniques and sensors to improve 3D microstructural characterisation of advanced materials, such as those formed in Selective Laser Melting in additive manufacturing. This technique allows us to focus on strain measurement on the microstructural level, and understand the influence of microstructure on the performance of coatings in environments where severe wear occurs, with a focus on abrasion, water droplet and solid particle erosion.

We are also validating methods to measure the true 3D structure of materials and using this information to help model the performance and behaviour of materials in different processes and environments.

By developing an increased understanding of the microstructure of materials, we can improve the selection and development of new materials, as well as better predict their performance in different applications.