The Materials Advanced Characterisation Centre (MACH1) has been funded through the ERDF A4B programme.
The mission of the centre is “to support Welsh advanced manufacturing industry by the provision of high throughput technologies for materials characterisation, materials selection and analysis, and to establish itself as a worldwide recognised centre”.
The capabilities of the MACH1 centre will provide short medium and long-term support to industry, as well as to the academic capabilities throughout Wales.
Advanced materials characterisation
High-throughput techniques are being increasingly used to accelerate the analysis and characterisation of specimens, most notably in the pharmaceutical industry.
The MACH1 centre provides the capabilities to apply such techniques to metallurgical samples, including novel alloys, providing a complete set of properties for a given material.
As materials are ubiquitous and intimately related to manufacturing processes, the development and selection of advanced materials for engineered applications will increase the competiveness of suppliers in the automotive, aerospace and opto-electronics sectors.
Applications of advanced materials characterisation include:
- higher temperature materials (more efficient engines)
- thermal barrier and corrosion coatings (more environmentally friendly materials)
- lightweight composite materials (lower emissions from vehicles)
- high strength steels (longer lasting materials, lighter vehicles)
- lead-free solders (less toxic materials)
- novel metal powder compositions (less wasteful novel manufacturing processes)
Plus complimenting many others related areas such as photo-voltaic and thermoelectric materials.
MACH1 offers a wide range material and measurement capabilities to deliver multi-sample, high-throughput testing of advanced materials to industry. The Centre hosts the following items of equipment:
- Preparation machines – Automated benchtop cutter and moulder
- Multi-sample polishers
- Multi-throughput benchtop SEM with EDS
- Multi-sample automated hardness indenter
- Multi-sample laser flash system for measurement of Thermal Diffusivity
- Multi-sample Thermogravimetry (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
- Multi-material pushrod dilatometer
- Small –Disk punch tester for high speed small sample tensile testing