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Composites and Coatings Group

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

The composites and coatings group is headed by Professor Bill Clyne. Research interests are focussed on certain types of developmental composite materials and coatings, comprising metallic and/or ceramic systems, with an emphasis on performance at high temperature and under other demanding conditions. Conventional (polymer matrix) composites are not studied, but there are ongoing projects on fibre network materials, layered structures for ballistic protection and ceramic composites reinforced with metallic fibres. Enhancement of toughness and strain tolerance are key objectives. Coatings work is related to these composite systems and is mainly oriented towards relatively thick ceramic layers on metallic substrates, mainly with the objective of providing thermal, tribological, ballistic and/or environmental protection. Vacuum plasma spray and plasma electrolytic oxidation coatings are of particular interest. Finally, there is ongoing work on the development of methodologies for inferring mechanical characteristics of materials and coatings from nanoindentation data, over a wide range of temperature. Facilities are available within the group for all associated material production and testing activities. The group forms part of the Gordon Laboratory, which functions as a framework for industrial collaboration, and most projects incorporate one or more industrial partners.

A wide range of experimental techniques are employed by the group, coupled with extensive analytical and numerical modelling of various transport phenomena and mechanical behaviour.

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