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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I02249X/1
Title: Structural evolution across multiple time and length scales
Principal Investigator: Withers, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Eichhorn, Professor S Mummery, Professor P Clarke, Dr DT
Hollis, Dr C Sherratt, Dr M James, Dr J
Jones, Professor JR Cartmell, Professor SH Thompson, Professor GE
Watts, Professor DC Freemont, Professor A Brandon, Professor NP
Lee, Professor P Blunt, Professor MJ Derby, Professor B
Stevens, Professor R Cernik, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Ceres Power Ltd Ford Motor Co Innoval Technology Ltd
Johnson Matthey ORTEQ Oxsensis1
Quantum Detectors RepRegen Rolls-Royce Plc
Stryker Orthopaedics Tata Steel The Electrospinning Company
Thomas Swan University of Cambridge University of Oxford
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2011 Ends: 31 March 2017 Value (£): 1,656,509
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Carbon Capture & Storage
Energy Storage Eng. Dynamics & Tribology
Fuel Cell Technologies Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Materials Characterisation Materials testing & eng.
Oil & Gas Extraction Tissue engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Energy
Environment Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Nov 2010 Research Complex at Harwell Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Taken together the imaging Facilities on the Rutherford Campus will be without equal anywhere in the world. The suite of synchrotron X-ray, neutron, laser, electron, lab. X-ray, and NMR imaging available promises an unprecedented opportunity to obtain information about material structure and behaviour. This infrastructure provides an opportunity to undertake science changing experiments. We need to be able to bring together the insights from different instruments to follow structural evolution under realistic environments and timescales to go beyond static 3D images by radically increasing the dimensionality of information available. This project will use many beamlines at Diamond and ISIS, combining them with laser and electron imaging capability on site, but especially exploiting the 3.3M investment by Manchester into a new imaging beamline at Diamond that will complete in Spring 2012.Traditionally a 3D images are reconstructed from hundreds or thousands of 2D images (projections) taken as the object is rotated. This project will:1) Deliver 3D movies of materials behaviour. 2) Move from essentially black and white images to colour images that reveal the elements inside the material and their chemical state which will be really useful for studying fuel cells and batteries.3) Create multidimensional images by combining more than one method (e.g. lasers and x-rays) to create an image. Each method is sensitive to different aspects.4) Establish an In situ Environments Lab and a Tissue Regeneration lab at the Research Complex. The former so that we can study sample behaviour in real time on the beam line; the latter so that we can study the cell growth and regeneration on new biomaterials. A key capability if we are to develop more effective hard (e.g. artificial hip) and soft tissue (artificial cartilage) replacements.These new methods will provide more detail about a very wide range of behaviours, but we will focus our experiments on materials for Energy and Biomaterials. In the area of energy it will enable us to:Recreate the conditions operating inside a hydrogen fuel cell (1000C) to find out how they degrade in operation leading to better fuel cells for cars and other applicationsStudy the charging and discharging of Li batteries to understand better why their performance degrades over their lifetime.Study thermal barriers that protect turbine blades from the aggressive environments inside an aeroengine to develop more efficient engines.Study the sub-surface corrosion of aircraft alloys and nuclear pressure vessels under realistic conditions improving safetyStudy in 3D how oil is removed from the pores in rocks and how we might more efficiently store harmful CO2in rocks.In the area of biomaterials it will enable us to recreate the conditions under which cells attach to new biomaterials and to follow their attachment and regeneration using a combination of imaging methods (laser, electron and x-ray) leading to:Porous hard tissue replacements (bone analogues) made from bio-active glasses with a microstructure to encourage cell attachmentSoft fibrous tissue replacements for skin, cartilage, tendon. These will involve sub-micron fibres arranged in ropes and mats.Of course the benefits of the multi-dimensional imaging we will establish at Harwell will extend much further. It will provide other academics and industry from across the UK with information across time and lengthscales not currently available. This will have a dramatic effect on our capability to follow behaviour during processing and in service.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk