We have facilities available across a range of surface engineering and nanotechnology applications including: surface treatments for components subjected to extreme and hostile environments; thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine engines; organic and inorganic hybrid materials for thin films and to address corrosion and fouling; and testing of new forms of nanomaterials for sensors, biosensors, and actuators.

Our specialist equipment allows you to access the technologies needed for atomistic and particulate based manufacturing techniques from prototypes through to testing and production.

The facilities are normally available with notice and expert technicians can assist with your testing project needs. Facilities are available by the hour and all quotations are confidential.

Corrosion fatigue rigs and furnaces

  • 100kN corrosion fatigue rig.
  • 15kN high pressure corrosion fatigue rig.
  • 60kN high cycle corrosion fatigue rig (100Hz).
  • 50kN corrosion fatigue rig.
  • Nine isothermal high temperature corrosion furnaces.
  • Two thermal cyclic oxidation rigs with forced air cooling.
  • Two ultra-rapid thermal cycling rigs with aspirated water.
  • Four isothermal oxidation tube furnaces.
  • Four box furnaces.
  • One hydrogen annealing furnace.
  • Low pressure plasma sprayer.

Coating facilities

  • Ceramic Electron Beam Physical Vapour Deposition (EBPVD) Coater 1, used for deposition of thermal barrier/environmental barrier coatings for high temperature applications. 
  • Ceramic EBPVD Coater 2 - as Coater 1 above but with capacity to deposit multi-layered coatings and graded composition coatings from multiple sources.
  • Leybold PVD Sputterer/EB Evaporator.
  • Multi target PVD Sputterer.
  • Specialist (Powder) PVD Sputter Coater. Modified sputter coated with rotating drum designed for coating powders or small components.
  • Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). Used for deposition of diffused metallic coatings, e.g. Al, Cr, Si, Hf, and Y and AlCr, AlSi.  Typical applications include bond coats, oxidation and/or corrosion resistant coatings.
  • High temperature vacuum furnace, used for heat treatment/diffusion cycles post coating deposition. Max. temperature 2,000°C.

Erosion test facilities

  • Particle sizes up to 300 microns at flow rates up to 3.0g/min velocities up to 450m/sec – measured.
  • Variable particle concentration.
  • Typically, the standoff distance is 40mm but can be between 10mm and 100mm dependent on sample.
  • Impact angles of 15, 30, 45, 60 and 90 are ‘standard’ but any angle can be achieved.
  • The testing can be done at any temperature from ambient to 850°C.

Analytical facilities

  • High Temperature Resonant Frequency Damping Analyser, used to determine Young’s modulus and damping characteristics at temperatures up to 1,200°C in air or inert atmospheres.
  • Teer scratch tester - used to determine hardness, coating adhesion, coefficient of friction and wear properties under unidirectional and bi-directional contact.
  • Fischer XRF - used to determine material composition and coating thickness (detector only suitable for elements >Si).
  • Differential scanning calorimetry/TGA.
  • Hot hardness tester (max temperature 700°C). 
  • 3D micro motion analyser.
  • Ball mill.
  • Controlled environmental cabinet.
  • Deep reactive ion etcher.
  • Differential scanning calorimetry.
  • Scratch and wear testing.

Companies we have worked with

We have an international network of partners in industry as well as non-government organisations and government agencies and SMEs across the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, biomedical and mining sectors, including:

  • Aerospatiale, 
  • Cannon-Muskegon,
  • EPSRC,
  • Heriot-Watt University,
  • Innovate UK,
  • ITP,
  • MTU,
  • Renault Formula 1,
  • Rolls-Royce,
  • Safran,
  • Siemens,
  • SIFCo,
  • Snecma,
  • TSB UK,
  • TSTL,
  • Wood Group.