Mechanics of materials

Our work in developing lightweight structures, smart coatings and insulation improves the performance and quality of materials available to industry. Leading this research is a group of highly-respected researchers using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities - our world-renowned Mechanics of Materials Research Group.

Expertise

The Mechanics of Materials Research Group carries out cutting-edge research by integrating the latest experimental and computational technologies. Combining expertise in experimental, analytical and modelling techniques has given the group a strong international reputation in:

  • Understanding evolution of microstructures and defect formation in casting, powder processing and semi-solid processing
  • Coatings technology, specifically hardening surfaces and stress testing
  • Supporting manufacturing with a particular focus on the transport sector
  • Evolution of microstructure in high temperature materials for power generation
  • Computational methods for multi-scale modelling to predict materials' capabilities.
  • Surface engineering, surface contact and tribology
  • Forensic engineering
  • Sintering science and technology
  • Tissue engineering and orthopaedic fixations by modelling degradation of bioresorbable devices

Facilities

The state-of-the-art £1.5 million Advanced Microscopy Centre, directed by Professor Sarah Hainsworth, provides specialist services to industry, which includes loaning microscopes with technical support, in-depth analysis, imaging and micro-analysis of components as well as consultancy and collaborative research.

This enables companies with limited facilities to access the latest cutting-edge equipment, helping them to develop and grow.

Another leading Leicester facility is the Materials Technology Integration Centre (MaTIC), which includes:

  • Raman spectroscope 
  • X-ray tomograph
  • Sharpness equipment

Our computational work benefits from ALICE - a new High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, purchased through a £2 million award.

Services to industry

The group offers a variety of electronics engineering services to industry, including:

  • Printed circuit board design, assembly and inspection
  • Cable harness manufacture
  • CnC machining
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Additive manufacturing

The Advanced Microscopy Centre offers the following services:

  • Microscope session with full technical support
  • In-depth analysis with expert support
  • Images and/or micro-analysis of components
  • Consultancy
  • Expert witness service