Our laboratories facilitate research over a wide range of fields in materials characterisation and processing, nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing, solid mechanics and biotechnology.
The Mechanical Testing Laboratory is used for undergraduate teaching, student project work and postgraduate research as well as consulting and investigations for industry. It is dedicated to the mechanical testing of metals, polymers, composites and other materials, enabling us to test:
These two testing machines are used to obtain stress/strain curves in both tension and compression, and also fatigue data when used with a cyclic (sine, triangle, square, hsine, htriangle and hsquare) or a ramp (single, dual and trapezoidal) waveform. The frequency of the waveform can be tuned between 1Hz and 10Hz. The machines can be operated under either force or displacement control. The force applied to the sample is measured with a load cell (50kN, 100kN, 250kN) on the stationary top crosshead. The bottom crosshead holds the hydraulic actuator which loads the sample. The specimen deformation is determined from either the moving grip position or by means of an extensometer (5mm, 12.5mm, 25mm, 50mm). Data may be collected and displayed during acquisition using the software of the computer. The machines are suitable to carry out:
The Microscopy and Materials Characterisation Laboratory at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (CAMT) is equipped with a wide range of equipment for studying a variety of material properties including determining sample structure, composition, thermal and mechanical properties.
Our laboratory instruments include:
Effort has been made to build ‘smart’ structures using active materials such as shape memory alloys/polymers, piezoelectric ceramics and polymers, and magnetostrictive composites. The research includes development and characterisation of novel active materials with improved performance; development of active structures with surface mounted/embedded sensors/actuators for vibration and damping control; and on-line health monitoring or non-destructive evaluation.
Our facilities and capabilities include:
A state-of-the-art laboratory in the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (CAMT) for probing the properties and surfaces of engineering materials at micro and nanoscale levels through mechanical contact.
This micro/nanoindenter is capable of measuring and applying loads and depths ranging from 0.1mN to 500mN and up to 20 microns respectively. Scratching, lateral force and friction measurements, wear testing, cyclic loading, high temperature nanoindentation (up to 800 °C) and impact testing are also possible.
This nanoindenter features in situation SPM and AFM imaging of indentations, for a load range of 10μN to 30mN and a maximum displacement of five microns. Scratching, lateral force and friction measurements, wear testing and dynamic mechanical measurements are also possible.
The Advanced Composites and Manufacturing Laboratory covers teaching, research and consulting in polymer composite manufacturing processes and techniques. Our facilities include: