What is analysis and materials characterisation?
Modern product design and the development of new materials demand sophisticated methods for material characterisation and analysis. These must be applied in parallel with manufacturing processes, quality control or failure investigation processes.
The increasing miniaturisation of components and products, as well as recent developments in nanotechnology, put high demands on the ability to analyse very small amounts of sample material, with high spatial resolution.
The University of Plymouth is extremely well equipped for analysis and materials characterisation. We have the expertise and equipment to assist with problems related to polymers, ceramics and hard metals, metallic alloys and composite materials in areas such as:
Imaging: materials and components can be examined at magnifications from 1x to 1,000,000x using normal light, electron, confocal laser scanning and atomic force microscopes. These are operated via sophisticated software packages with a high level of analytical capability and file exportability. Available functions include x-ray spectroscopy for element analysis, 3D surface metrology and stereo imaging.
Microstructural characterisation: a wide range of metallic and nonmetallic materials can be prepared for micro structural characterisation. This includes automated microhardness measurements as well as image analysis of inclusions, and second phase particles.
Mechanical property testing: standard tests can be performed to determine Charpy impact energy, tensile properties, fatigue properties and fracture toughness. Capability exists for photoelastic stress analysis and finite element modelling.