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The Nanomaterials group researches the microstructure and properties of nanoparticle-modified materials, especially the combination of nanoparticles and thermoset polymers, as used for adhesives, coatings and the matrices of structural fibre composite materials.

The aims of our research are to:

  • develop novel nanomaterials for engineering applications
  • characterise their structure
  • quantify the mechanical and fracture performance
  • understand the mechanisms
  • model the behaviour of nanomaterials

The group works on both the fundamental aspects of nanomaterials and their applications, and across length scales from nanometres to metres. These nanomaterials are increasingly finding applications in vehicles, rail-coaches, aerospace and the electronics industry.

At the nanoscale we investigate how to design microstructures, and understand the mechanisms which give nanomaterials their properties. We model these features and mechanisms, and predict the performance of these materials. We then apply this knowledge to the production of adhesives, coatings and fibre composites with improved properties. For example, we develop hybrid materials by combining different types of nanoparticles to produce synergistic effects. We use these materials to manufacture components, and test how the performance benefits are carried through to the structural level.