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Interdisciplinary Research Centre


Composite Materials and Coatings

Our work is within the Gordon Laboratory, a framework for collaboration on the development and improvement of structural materials in various types of industrial and commercial usage. Much of our research is focused on the processing and properties of new types of material and coating, with modelling of both processing and performance characteristics forming an important part of the work. The Laboratory hosts a wide range of facilities for the processing and mechanical interrogation of advanced materials and surface coatings, including a unique set of three nanoindenters, one of which is housed in a vacuum chamber.

Plasma-spray and plasma-electrolytic-oxide coatings

Plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings are critical to the performance of gas-turbine engines. Our recent studies have clarified the microstructural changes that can occur under service conditions and the significance of these for the stability of the system. Plasma electrolytic oxidation is a novel surface engineering technology, involving repeated local dielectric breakdown of the growing oxide film. It can generate thick, highly adherent, thermally protective and wear-resistant coatings on a range of metallic alloys. Ongoing work covers process modelling and novel applications.

Metallic-fibre network materials and panelss

Highly porous materials made by bonding together metallic fibres (mostly stainless steels) are being studied for various applications, including acoustic damping in gas turbines, with a small aeroengine being used in this work. Similar material is being developed for the core of lightweight metallic panels.

Magneto-mechanical actuation and bone growth stimulation

There is strong current interest in the development of ferromagnetic fibre network layers on prostheses, into which bone tissue growth can be promoted via magnetically-induced straining of the network. This concept is being explored in collaborative programmes, with a new cell culture laboratory having been created.

Professor of Mechanics of Materials
Professor Bill  Clyne
Not available for consultancy