We have access to a wide range of equipment within the Department of Materials. Here are a few that we use more regularly.

Electron Microscopes

These are housed within the Harvey Flower Electron Microscopy Suite and represent the ones that the team use most often.


 Auriga CrossBeam FIB-SEM

 Auriga FIB SEM The Auriga has a high brightness FEG source that makes it perfect for high spatial resolution analytical experiments, as well as 'fast' in situ deformation studies using our Alemnis indenter.

Key features/equipment:
 Bruker eFlashHR EBSD detector, FSD and eSprit 2.0 software for EBSD analysis.
 Suitable for use with Alemnis indenter.
 More info Harvey Flower Website
 eFlashHR EBSD detector info


 FEI Quanta 650


 This instrument is a recent purchase within the Department. It is not open for general access, as we are still commissioning the system.
 It is a high brightness environmental FEG SEM, with a range of in situ stages and analytical techniques.

Key features/equipment:
 Bruker eFlashHR EBSD, FSD and eSprit 2.0 software for EBSD analysis.
 Bruker high energy resolution and large area EDX, capable of clearly separating light elements such as boron and carbon.
 Renishaw in-SEM Raman for complementary phase and stress analysis.
 FEI directional backscatter detector for high resolution and fast surface imaging.
 Gatan Murano heating stage - up to 950 degrees C.
 Gatan C1003 heating and cooling stage - from -150 to 450 degrees C.
 Gatan Microtest - 2kN loading frame with heating up to 500 degrees C.
 Suitable for use with Alemnis indenter.
 Environmental capabilities - water and gas injection for near ambient experiments.

 More info eFlashHR EBSD detector info


 FEI Helios Nanolab

  This dual beam instrument is a workhorse for rapid fabrication of thin samples and micromechanical testing specimens.

Key features/equipment:
 Omniprobe micromanipulator.
 STEM detector.
 Autoscript and Nanobuilder software for routine micromechanical sample manufacture.

 More info Harvey Flower Website


 JEOL 6400 SEM

  This tungsten filament SEM is a little older than its siblings but is well equipped for routine EBSD analysis and is perfect for texture studies and many undergraduate research projects.

Key features/equipment:
 Fast HKL (now Oxford Insturments) EBSD with Flamenco.
 EDS analysis.

 More info Harvey Flower Website

Macro- and Micro- Mechanical Testing


 Alemnis SEM Indenter

 This indenter is built to fit inside our scanning electron microscopes. It is current fitted for both the Auriga and FEI Quanta platforms. It is actuated through careful motion of a pizeostack, making it fundamentally displacement controlled. Load is measured with a small load-cell mounted below the sample.

Key features/equipment:
 Displacement controlled deformation.
 Flat punch, wedge and cube corner indenters.
 Displacement range = sub-nm - 20 micrometer.
 Load range = ~10 micro newtons up to 500 mN.

 More info Supplier Website


 Shimadzu AGS-X 10kN load frame

  This screw-thread load frame is equipped for dedicated digital image correlation and mechanical testing.

Key features/equipment:
 Non contact video extensometry
 Contact extensometry (strain guage)
 Tensile, bend and compression grips.
 In-house developed Digital Image Correlation solution.

 More info Supplier Website

Sample Preparation and Fabrication


 LG55C/D - Engineering Alloys Shared Metallography Equipment

  The Engineering Alloys group maintain a range of metallography preparation equipment in our shared laboratories to ensure that our samples are of the best quality for all our tests.

Key features/equipment:
 Quartz encapsulation station.
 High speed cut off saws.
 Low speed precision saw.
 Hot and cold mounting.
 Automatic grinding and polishing stations.
 Vibromet polishing station.
 Electrochemical polishing (TEM and SEM prep).
 Etching (including HF capabilities).
 Optical microscopy.

 More info Engineering Alloys Facilities Listings


 LG55C/D - Alloy Development

  The Engineering Alloys group maintain a range of alloy development tools to enable us to emulate real alloy manufacture in-the-lab.

Key features/equipment:
 Rolling mill.
 Foil mill.
 Melting and casting.
 A range of furnaces / ovens for short & long term heat treatments.
 Thermomechnical processing facilities.

 More info Engineering Alloys Facilities Listings

Computational Resources

We perform a fair bit of computation and host the following computers/servers


 Disc Server 

  All our experiments are data intensive, we therefore store and archive significant amounts of material.

 We maintain a Synology Discstation (DS-3612xs), with an additional rack of storage (DS-1215).
 We have 27+45 TB of actual storage space.

 More info 


 Number Crunching

  We have a range of computers that we use to crunch our data. Our analysis is typically very image intensive (i.e. data transfer intensive) and is not often suited for high performance computing solutions.
 Computation is performed using embarrassingly parallel software optimisation where possible. All computers are typically operated remotely (within the Imperial Network).

Intel Xenon CPU E5-2650 @ 2.60GHz (2 Processors)

Intel Xenon CPU E5-2660 @ 2.60GHz (2 Processors)
128 GB RAM

Intel Core i7-4960X @ 3.60GHz

Intel Xenon CPU E5-2660 @ 2.60GHz (2 Processors)
128 GB RAM

Inten Core i7-3930K @ 3.20 GHz
 More info