Department of Materials


The department has an extensive range of laboratory facilities, offering our students, researchers and staff an excellent environment in which to study and work

For ease of reference this page divides our facilities into two sections, those used for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students and those used for research and industrial collaboration. Some facilities are shared and taught students may use research equipment if their dissertation project requires it and similarly researchers may use pieces of equipment located in teaching laboratories.

Research and specialist facilities

Processing and test facilities listed

If you are interested in using these facilities or discussing a project that requires any of these techniques then, in the first instance, please contact:

Scott Doak
Director of LMCC
Telephone: +44(0)1509 223314

Physical Property measurement

  • Tensile, flexural and compression testing
  • Instrumented pendulum and drop weight impact testing
  • Electrical properties
  • Fatigue testing
  • Cyclic crack growth machine

Metals Research Techniques and Facilities

Microstructural Modelling

  • Advanced testing equipment for mechanical properties
  • Field emission gun transmission electron microscope
  • Field emission gun scanning electron microscope
  • Transmission electron microscopes
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Optical microscopy
  • Heat treatment
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Modelling

Surface Engineering

  • Electroplating and anodising
  • Corrosion testing
  • Computer-controlled pulse plating
  • Rotating disc and cylinder electrode rigs
  • High current potentiostats
  • DC electrochemical corrosion testing
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Neutral salt spray corrosion testing cabinet

Ceramics Research Techniques and Facilities

  • Particle size analysis & simultaneous zeta potential measurement
  • Surface area analysis
  • Rheological characterisation of suspensions
  • Semi automatic screen printing (donated by Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems)
  • Spray freeze drying of powders
  • Milling and mixing of powders
  • Die pressing • Isostatic pressing • Gel casting
  • In-situ coagulation moulding
  • Freeze casting
  • Dip coating
  • Range of high and low temperature conventional sintering furnaces including:
  • 6 kW, 2.45 GHz, multimode controlled atmosphere furnace
  • 2 kW, 2.45 GHz, multimode hybrid (conventional/microwave) furnace
  • 1 kW, 2.45 GHz, high temperature single mode applicator

Polymer Research Techniques and Facilities

Processing and Pilot Plant for plastics, elastomers, and thermosets

  • Injection moulding
  • Compression moulding
  • Thermoforming
  • Pipe and Sheet Extrusion
  • PVC Profile Extruder
  • Blow moulding
  • Dry blender
  • Two roll mills
  • Internal mixer
  • Twin screw compounder

 Processing Properties and Rheology Measurement

  • Elongational rheometer
  • Melt flow indexer
  • Capillary rheometer
  • Biaxial stretching equipment
  • Rotational rheometer
  • Monsanto Cure Meter
  • Mooney Viscometer

Polymer Characterisation

  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)
  • Simultaneous thermal analysis (STA)
  • Thermomechanical analysis (TMA)
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA)
  • Thin film analysis (TFA)
  • Micro-thermal analysis (µTA)
  • Evolved gas analysis (EGA)
  • Infra-red spectrometry
  • Scanning probe techniques
  • Optical microscopy
  • Electron microscopy (TEM/SEM/VP)
  • X-rays (WAXS, SAXS, texture, stress)
  • Surface analysis (Auger, SIMS, XPS, LIMA, contact angle, GDMS)
  • IR and UV spectrophotometry, GPC