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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S009493/1
Title: Nanomechanical Testing in Controlled Environments and in the TEM (Nano-TCT)
Principal Investigator: Derby, Professor B
Other Investigators:
Haigh, Professor SJ Schroder, Professor M Xiao, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 30 June 2021 Value (£): 911,357
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jul 2018 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel July 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nanomechanical testing is a technique that can measure the mechanical propertes (stiffness, hardness, strength) of very small volumes of material with dimensions much smaller than the diameter of a human hair. This is very important for a number of areas of engineering and technology including: nuclear materials, materials for energy storage applications, coatings, advanced manufacturing, biomaterials, printed electronics and 2D materials such as graphene. This proposal is to acquire two pieces of equipment that can be used to further research in these areas.

The first is a Nanoindenter that will be used primarily to study the hardness and stiffness of the near surface layers of a material. It will be used for a number of research projects including studies to improve the coatings used on gas turbine blades used in aerospace engines. This research is aimed at enabling the engines to run more efficiently at higher temperatures and with reduced cooling, simplifying their design and manufacturing costs. It will be equipped with a special stage allowing the study of the properties of materials below the freezing point of water allowing a better understanding of why some engineering materials become brittle at low temperatures. It will also have a stage to allow us to study how electrochemical reactions can influence mechanical properties, such as can occur during the corrosion of metals or the charging and discharging of batteries. Finally it will be used in work with biologists who are interested in how disease and age alters the mechanical proerties of the tissues within our bodies, e.g. the stiffening or arteries, embrittlement of bones and how conditions such as diabetes alter the properties of tissues and the subsequent well being of patients.

The second piece of equipment is a Picoindenter that allows the mechanical testing of very small material samples in the transmission electron microscope.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk