Materials Design and Characterisation Research Group
Our material design by characterisation research informs the development of new alloys and the analysis of the mechanical and physical properties of existing advanced materials used in critical applications.
Characterisation of materials at a microscopic level is vital to our understanding of the microstructural and microtextural evolutions that occur during the manufacturing and processing of alloys, and which directly influence material integrity.
The main interest of our Material Design and Characterisation Research Group is to explore and understand the fundamental aspects of the behaviour and integrity of materials. Our research informs our holistic approach to the design of materials for applications ranging from nanostructures to large-scale engineering structures.
We believe that the development of new nano and micro-analytical techniques and enhanced characterisation tools will be key to the future of advanced materials design.
We’re currently investigating the physical and mechanical metallurgy, structural properties, material performance and integrity at high temperatures and in aggressive environments of aerospace materials (including nickel base superalloys, titanium alloys and high strength steel) as well as critical alloys used in automotive and energy sectors.
Our focus has been on material design and structural properties during advanced manufacturing, such as additive manufacturing and thermomechanical processing.
Examples of our research studies include:
- Crystallographic texture and strain correlations: The influence of local texture, global/macro/meso/micro-texture and orientation clusters and strain/stress incompatibilities in a polycrystalline material on deformation mechanism and fracture mechanics in the alloys used in aggressive environments
- Process-property correlations: The effects of processing parameters (during investment casting, forging, rolling, HIPing, welding and additive manufacturing), heat treatments and aging on mechanical properties of high temperature alloys
- Microstructure-property relationships: Using various mechanical and microstructural characterisation techniques to investigate structure-property correlations in superalloys, ferrous and HCP alloys
- In-situ mechanical testing and heat treatment: Utilising HR-EBSD, digital image correlation, synchrotron and neutron diffraction techniques to investigate deformation mechanism, recrystallisation and phase transformation of metals and alloys at RT and high temperature conditions
- Mechanical property optimisation: Enhancing creep, fatigue, dwell fatigue properties of the critical alloys used in aerospace, nuclear, energy, automotive and power generation sectors via microstructure engineering
- Ductility issues in advanced structural alloys
- Data visualisation: Exploring the potential of data mining and visualisation in alloy’s structure-property relationship studies
- Crack initiation and propagation in HCP and FCC alloys under various loading conditions
- High temperature oxidation of alloys and its influence on material performance
- Magnetic property optimisation in electrical steel for future electric car and transformer applications
In the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, we have access to microstructure characterisation facilities, additive manufacturing and alloys prototyping, processing and mechanical testing laboratories.
We utilise a range of micro-analytical techniques, including SEM, EDS, XRD, EBSD, TKD and nano/micro X-ray tomography. We also have access to synchrotron and neutron facilities to conduct in-situ experiments.
Our testing laboratories are located in: