The Institute for Materials and Processes brings together world-class researchers to advance engineering applications of materials, fluids and processes, and to provide high quality and creative research environment which can be harnessed by our industrial partners. Experimental, computational and theoretical methods are used to shed light on the underlying engineering science.
Key areas of expertise
- Dynamic effects in structures and materials
- Structural health monitoring non-destructive testing
- Sensing of damage in composites
- Pipeline design for oil & gas and offshore
- Processing of thermoset and thermoplastic composites
- Biomechanical applications of structural engineering.
- Innovative composites for marine renewable energy applications (tidal and wind energy blades)
- Advanced composites and emerging structural engineering materials
- Structures in fire and at elevated temperatures
- Strengthening and repair of infrastructure
- Silos and thin-walled structures
Materials research areas include:
- Materials design and characterisation
- Multi-scale modelling from atoms to processes
- Composite materials manufacture and processing
- Fire testing of materials and structures
- Dynamic, impact and ballistic performance of advanced materials
- Mechanical testing from fibres to large structures
Advanced research, consultancy and design code development
Fire Effects on Structures and Materials
Structural Applications of Composite Materials
Dynamic Loading on Structures
Facilities at the University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is host to an extensive range of facilities, equipment and expertise which can be accessed by companies and organisations for in-house projects. Find out how to access the facilities, equipment and expertise at the University, or to discuss a particular project in greater depth.
Click to explore facilities available at the University of Edinburgh for Advanced manufacturing
The new (2017) material testing laboratory houses static and dynamic test machines (50KN-300KN) aimed at specialised mechanical testing of advanced composite materials, complete with environmental chamber (-70°C to 300°C), non-contact video extensometry and Digital Image Correlation. Mechanical testing is supported by materials characterisation equipment (DSC, DMTA), optical and scanning electron microscopy.
Composite Materials Lab
- 300 kN MTS screw-driven test machine with hydraulic grips
- Environmental chamber
- 100Kn & 250kN Instron servo-hydraulic test machine
- 50kN Zwick screw-driven test machine
- Imetrium non-contact extensometry and DIC
- Triton DMTA
- Perkin-Elmer DSC
- Optical Microscopy
The Structures Laboratory
This facility enables structures testing equipment from small coupons to full-scale structures, and allows structural testing on material samples. It is a high headroom lab for testing large and unusual structural assemblies. The strong floor and reaction frame systems give great versatility in the types of test that are carried out here, there is a state of the art Instron actuator system for applying two independent loads under precise computer control. The lab is equipped with furnaces and ovens for structural testing under heat and fire. An instrumented drop-weight impact osites and other materials.
- Structures test hall with strong floor (D*B*H = 9m*6m*6.2m) and “meccano” test frame system.
- Structural testing with up to 2,000 kN capacity for static (load controlled) and 1,000 kN cyclic (fatigue) tests.
- Dropping tower of 3m height
- Associated material laboratories, contain static-rated universal test machines (from 50 kN to 3,000 kN)
Materials Processing Laboratory
This laboratory is dedicated to the novel processing of fibre reinforced polymer composites, including thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers, using powder processing, liquid moulding, press moulding, in-situ polymerisation of thermoplastics and novel prepregging facilities.
Advanced Adsorption Lab
- Dual Piston Pressure Swing Adsorption System
- Quantachrome AutoTap and Ultrapycometer
- Quantachrome Porometer 3Gzh for membranes and membrane modules
- Membrane Permeation Cells
- High Pressure Static Volumetric Adsorption Rig
Read about our current projects and success stories
Improved Heat Storage Technology
Prof Colin Pulham is working with a local start-up company, Sunamp, to develop technology for efficient, low-cost heat storage. This approach reduces CO2 emissions and fuel bills. The team has developed phase-change materials based on salt hydrates, and the research has had a major impact on the design of Sunamp’s prototype heat-storage batteries.
Testing Offshore Wind Infrastructure
Concrete Marine Solutions, a Scottish SME, used the smaller of the University’s wave tanks to test a prototype of its novel installation platform for offshore wind turbines.
Collaborative Working in Marine Energy
The University’s Institute for Energy Systems is leading the FP7-funded project Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Arrays, which consists of 18 international partners including Vattenfall, Iberdrola and DEME. The project will provide design tools for the development of ocean energy arrays, enabling open sea demonstration of tidal stream and wave energy technologies.