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Applied Materials Technology

The Applied Materials Technology group is focused on testing and developing the materials for the future of fusion. The laboratory provides unique capabilities and expertise in support of the technological development of fusion energy.


  • Materials testing and characterisation
  • Small-scale sample testing
  • Design codes and standards for fusion
  • Application specific material selection

Fusion applications

  • Developing novel materials capable of withstanding the extreme environments of a fusion reactor, often in conjunction with one another:
    • High load and temperature extremes
    • High energy neutrons
    • Extreme magnetic forces
    • Corrosive decay caused by lithium
  • Performing fusion design criteria validation testing
Materials testing experiment

Other industrial applications

  • Investigating cutting edge materials
  • Developing supply chains
  • Advanced testing techniques and technique standardisation

Instrument specification

Quasi-static tension/compression testing:

  • Instron 5966, 10 kN load, -150°C < T < 600°C
  • Instron 5965, 5 kN load, -150°C < T < 300°C

Dynamic (fatigue) testing:

  • Instron Electropuls E3000 (Tension + Torsion), ± 3 kN load, T = RT

Quasi-static small-punch testing:

  • Odin (Phoenix), 7.5 kN load, RT < T < 1000°C
  • Thor (Phoenix), 5.0 kN load, RT < T < 700°C

Hardness testing (ambient):

  • Leco AMH43, 10 gf-1 kgf load
  • Innovatest Falcon 500, 10 gf-2 kgf load
  • Frontics AIS3000HD, up to 120 kgf, instrumented


  • SEM: Zeiss EVO 10 LaB6, Oxford Instruments CMOS, Symmetry EBSD and Ultim Max EDX
  • In situ loading rig: Newtec MT1000, -150°C <T < 150°C or RT < T < 900°C, 5 kN load, tension, compression, bending

Complex environment testing:

  • (2022 delivery) Small-scale cryogenic testing rig, 50 kN load, -190°C < T < RT
  • (2022 delivery) Pheonix tension-torsion rig, 50 kN load, RT < T < 1200°C
  • (2023 delivery) Cryogenic testing rig, 100 kN load, 4 K < T < RT

Some equipment offers full-field (DIC) strain measurement capability. Small-scale testing capabilities include micro-C(T), mini-tensile, small punch, shear punch, and instrumented indentation.


The Applied Materials Technology group is keen to collaborate on research projects that relate to these areas. We will also consider commercial use of our unique capabilities to support UK industry and academia towards the advancement of fusion and related technologies.

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