Research Facilities

To underpin its research and teaching activities, the School has established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing. To complement the School's teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.

Electron Microscopy


The School of Materials has a suite of 20 complementary electron microscopes, comprising 15 scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), two of which are dual beam (an SEM combined with a focussed ion beam, FIB), and four transmission microscopes (TEMs).

Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility


The University of Manchester has embarked upon a bold investment aimed at creating the most comprehensive and capable 3D X-ray imaging capability anywhere in the world including MXIF at Henry Moseley (laboratory based) and MXIF at Diamond (synchrotron based).

Scanning Probe Microscopy


Scanning probe microscopy includes the techniques of both Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM).

X-ray Diffraction


The School of Materials has seven x-ray diffractometer machines which cover techniques such as residual stress analysis, texture (preferred orientation) analysis, phase identification in crystalline and semi crystalline powders and solid materials.

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy


X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy involves irradiating a surface with soft X-rays and energy analysing the emitted photoelectrons. Since these electrons have energies which are typically less than 1500 eV they interact strongly with material, and so can only escape from the top few atomic layers.

Composites facilities


The School has a range of facilities that are used for world-class composite testing and research. For more details, please contact the National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility.



The Corrosion and Protection Group have access to a wide array of state of the art tools for corrosion measurements, surface engineering, materials characterisation, and interface analysis.

Stress and Damage Characterisation (X-ray and Raman)


Our facilities enable the investigation and prediction of the mechanical behaviour of materials and engineering components, and the development of residual stresses and damage within these components.

Knitting facilities


Knitting technology coupled to CAD provides the design and structure to innovate in sportswear, medical textiles, personal protection and fashion clothing.

Body scanning

Body scanning technology uses image capture devices to develop a point cloud representation of physical object and render it within an electronic environment. 

National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility

We have the facilities to offer qualification of new composite materials, standards manufacturing and inspection procedures as well as testing and evaluation, materials selection, manufacturing technology, industrial services, product development and training in composites.

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