Materials Homepage 2 Cropped

Understanding how materials behave, degrade and relate to each other is a fundamental part of the research that takes place and factors into much of the work we conduct for our Members.

Whether it’s identifying what caused a component to fail, developing hydrophobic coatings for anti-graffiti applications, or identifying the optimum material for a niche application, our materials scientists have the depth of knowledge to develop solutions to all manner of materials-related problems, without compromising on safety or quality.

Our Members benefit from our unrivalled breadth of understanding and versatility of capability: with laboratories able to examine the microscopic, and specialised testing rigs able to investigate the massive, we can take on projects of any size.

Our world expert technology fellows, including Mike Gittos, Richard Pargeter and Mike Troughton, contribute their considerable expertise to fulfilling the needs of our Members.

Current areas of research

Our materials scientists are constantly working on a diverse range of market-driven projects; some of our current focus is on the following:

  • Materials performance in high-pressure and -temperature oil and gas systems
  • Testing of metal-polymer products
  • Hydrogen embrittlement of dissimilar joints in subsea applications
  • Cold-spray for coatings, surface repair and near-net shape forming
  • Hydrogen-assisted cracking of high-strength nickel-based alloys
  • Corrosion performance and weld metallurgy of duplex stainless steels

Recent developments

Some recent examples of pioneering work on behalf of our Members include the establishment or development of:

  • Materials performance in 500bar supercritical carbon dioxide
  • Critical flaw sizes for joints in polyethylene pipes
  • An automated coating for wind turbine foundations
  • Unique insight into the integrity of steel-to-nickel dissimilar joints
  • Performance of thermally sprayed aluminium at elevated temperature
  • New analytical methods for permeated water vapour, hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide

New equipment

This quality of work would not be possible without state-of-the-art equipment, and we have invested heavily to ensure our experts have access to every tool they need to satisfy our Members’ requirements. In 2014 alone, we acquired:

  • Two scanning electron microscopes
  • An infinite focus microscope
  • An automated image analysis system
  • A high-performance optical microscope
  • A high-pressure/-temperature testing facility (up to 250̊C, 1000bar)
  • Three autoclaves
  • A new cold spray system