Materials Systems for Demanding Environments (MS4DE)

The Materials Systems for Demanding Environments (MS4DE) theme will design, make, characterise and test new material systems for demanding environments, supporting energy, transport and other sectors. Emphasis will be placed on developing protective/smart coatings, hybrid material systems and ceramic matrix composites, to widen the parameter space in which structural materials can be used. In addition, MS4DE will provide underpinning capability for testing structural materials in corrosive, high-pressure/high-temperature and other demanding environments. This, in combination with mechanical loading from low to very-high strain rates and in-situ characterisation capabilities for mechanistic understanding of material degradation, will guide new material development and improve component life.

The overriding aim is to develop materials solutions and systems that will enable a ‘step-change’ in component development for applications in aggressive environments. A crucial aspect of developing these new material systems is to fully understand the relationship between the manufacturing parameters and performance of the material, i.e. a cradle-to-grave approach.

Potential materials breakthroughs/enhancements already identified include:

  • development of new material systems for hard-facing applications (e.g. nuclear);
  • erosion-corrosion resistant coatings (e.g. oil & gas);
  • self-healing structural health monitoring systems for aerospace components;
  • self-healing coating systems for gas turbines;
  • high-temp/very-high-temp coatings for environmental protection (e.g. engine components);
  • hybrid material solutions, e.g. new fire-retardant material systems for the building industry. 
The question of addressing the ‘missing step’ in scale is a key driver for this theme, and therefore ‘bridging the gap’ between the low TRLs (0/1) and the higher readiness levels associated with catapults (5+).
  • Henry Royce partners – MS4DE will be led by The University of Manchester with strong links to The University of Sheffield, and will also bring together activities and interests from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London, as well as CCFE and NNL.

MS4DE academic champions
Professor Michael Preuss, Professor of Metallurgy, The University of Manchester.

If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch.

Lead Institution

university-of-manchester