Research Area

Material Systems for Demanding Environments

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What if:

  • Turbine blade coatings were self-healing ?
  • We had erosion-resistant coated piping with sensor capability ?
  • Nuclear fuel assemblies could withstand accident scenarios for hours instead of minutes ?

We will design, make, characterise and test new material systems for demanding environments, supporting energy, transport and other sectors. This theme has a large research capability on nuclear fuel cladding and high-pressure, high-temperature research, including a large autoclave testing facility.


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; a cradle-to-grave approach.

Materials for Demanding Environments


National Graphene Institute

Led by The University of Manchester with strong links to The University of Sheffield, and will bring together activities and interests from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London, as well as UKAEA and NNL.