Building New Capability in Structural Ceramics

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

We plan to create a world-leading, multidisciplinary, UK Structural Ceramics Centre to underpin research and development of these highly complex materials. Structural ceramics are surprisingly ubiquitous not only in obvious traditional applications (whitewares, gypsum plaster, house bricks, furnace refractories, dental porcelains and hip/knee prostheses) but in hidden applications where their electrical behaviour is also important such as in computers, mobile phones, DVDs etc. Structural ceramics are enabling materials which underpin many key areas of the economy including: energy generation, environmental clean-up, aerospace and defence, transport and healthcare. Key areas where important developments can be made in energy generation include ceramics for plutonium immobilisation and for next generation nuclear reactor fuels, for ion conductors in solid oxide fuel cells, and for storage of hydrogen for the projected hydrogen economy. Porous ceramics need to be developed for heavy metal and radionuclide capturing filters to help with environmental remediation of soil, air and water and for storage of carbon captured from burning fossil fuels. The next generation of space shuttles and other military aircraft will rely on ceramic and composite thermal protection systems operating at over 2000C. Ceramic coatings on turbine blades in aircraft enable them to function at temperatures above the melting point of the metals alloys from which they are mostly made, and improved ceramics capable of operation at even higher temperatures will confer improved fuel efficiency with environmental benefits. Our troops need improved personal body & vehicle armour to operate safely in troubled areas and the latest generation of armour materials will use ceramic laminate systems but improvements always need to be made in this field. Ceramic are used increasingly for bone and tooth replacement with the latest materials having the ability to allow natural bone ingrowth and with mechanical properties close to natural bone. It is clear the improved understanding of the mechanical behaviour of ceramics, better and simpler processing and the ability to model structure-processing-property relations over many length scales will lead to significant benefit not just to the UK but to mankind. Our aim is to combine the capabilities of two internationally-leading Departments at Imperial College London (Materials and Mechanical Engineering) to form the Centre of Excellence. The Centre will act as a focal point for UK research on structural ceramics but will encourage industrial and university partners to participate in UK and international R&D programmes. 51 companies and universities have already expressed the wish to be involved with promised in-kind support at over 900K. Research activities will be developed in three key areas: -Measurement of mechanical properties and their evolution in extreme environments such as high temperatures, demanding chemical environments, severe wear and impact conditions and combinations of these.-High Temperature Processing and Fabrication. In particular, there is a need for novel approaches for materials which are difficult to process such as borides, carbides, nitrides, materials with compositional gradients and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). -Modelling of the time-dependence of deformation and fracture of ceramics to predict the useful lifetime of components. The modelling techniques will vary from treating the material as a homogeneous block down to describing the atomic nature of the materials and links between these approaches will be established.In addition to providing the funding that will enable us to create the nucleus from which the centre can grow, mutually beneficial relations with industry, universities and research centres in the UK and abroad will be developed to ensure that a large group of researchers will remain active long after the period for which funding is sought will have ended.

Organisations

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This award enabled the development of a Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC) at Imperial College London that performs world-leading research into ceramics for aerospace (with Rolls-Royce), bioceramics and bioglass, nuclear (with Sellafield, NNL, EdF Energy, Hitachi etc), defence (ballistic protection and ultra-high temperature ceramics, with DSTL, MOD and the US Navy and Airforce), energy (solid oxide fuel cells), environmental clean-up (including at Fukushima). We have covered the range of ceramics from measuring the highest melting temperature ever measured to helping provide clean water in Uganda by using local clays to make ceramic filters.
Exploitation Route see the CASC annual reports on the web site http://imperial.ac.uk/structural-ceramics
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

URL http://imperial.ac.uk/structural-ceramics
 
Description The success of this project which ended in 2013 led to the development of the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC) at Imperial College which hosts 4 academics working in ceramics and coordinates College-wide research into ceramics covering over 20 academic staff and 50 PhDs and PDRAs. It has an active industry partnership scheme involving Morgan Advanced Materials, DSTL, Rolls-Royce, Kerneos, Asahi Glass, Reaction Engines and John Crane and supports the Richard brook prize for best ceramics PhD in the UK as well as a successful Summer school. It was instrumental in getting the EPSRC to upgrade ceramics from reduce to maintain in its strategy. In addition, many of the CASC researchers have gone on to industrial positions e.g. with John Crane, Morgan Advanced Materials, Element 6 etc as well as lectureships at Liverpool, Reading, Cardiff, Kingston and Missouri-Rolla in the USA. Two have received Junior Research Fellowships from Imperial College. CASC academics continue to have success in obtaining multi-million pounds of funding for EPSRC, EC and research projects.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Basic Science Division American Ceramic Society
Impact Vice Chair Basic Science Division American Ceramic Society Target Audience: Academic Institution
 
Description CoRWM-Government relations and in its inquiry into nuclear R&D needs
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Gave verbal evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on or the next 50 years Target Audience: Local Government
 
Description Design and verification of ceramics for space
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Pre standard research informing the development of standards Target Audience: Industrial / Commercial
 
Description Governments advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Reporting directly to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and have given verbal evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee twice in this role Target Audience: Local Government
 
Description Managing radioactive waste safely programme
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Radioactive Waste Management International Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC 13) , Prague, Czech Republic, 23 October 2012 Target Audience: Public Research Organisation
 
Description National Institute of Health (NIH)
Impact Ad-hoc member of several National Institute of Health (NIH) special emphasis panels Target Audience: Public Research Organisation
 
Description Advanced composites inspired by nature
Amount £170,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2012 
End 02/2014
 
Description Advanced composites inspired by nature
Amount £170,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2012 
End 02/2014
 
Description Amelogenin Degradation by MMP20 and KLK4 in Enamel Biomineralization
Amount £1,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
 
Description Amelogenin Degradation by MMP20 and KLK4 in Enamel Biomineralization
Amount £1,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
 
Description Analyze and image Si doped boron carbide nanowire
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ministry of Defence (MOD) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2012
 
Description Analyze and image Si doped boron carbide nanowire
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ministry of Defence (MOD) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2012
 
Description Bio-inspired ceramic-CNT composites.
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 09/2012
 
Description Bioceramics for Bone Repair
Amount £3,600,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2016
 
Description Bioceramics for Bone Repair
Amount £3,600,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2016
 
Description Bioceramics for bone repair
Amount £3,040,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2012
 
Description Bioceramics for bone repair
Amount £3,040,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2012
 
Description Bioinspired Ceramic/CNT composites-phase 2
Amount £130,000 (GBP)
Organisation US Army Research Lab 
Department Engineer Research and Development Center
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2012
 
Description Bioinspired Ceramic/CNT composites-phase 2
Amount £130,000 (GBP)
Organisation US Army Research Lab 
Department Engineer Research and Development Center
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2011 
End 10/2012
 
Description Bioinspired Structural Materials
Amount £85,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2014
 
Description Bioinspired Structural Materials
Amount £85,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2014
 
Description Biomimetic organic-inorganic hybrid structural materials
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2014
 
Description Biomimetic organic-inorganic hybrid structural materials
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2014
 
Description Developing a high toughness mullite
Amount £90,500 (GBP)
Organisation US Navy 
Department US Office of Naval Research Global
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2010 
End 12/2010
 
Description Developing a high toughness mullite
Amount £90,500 (GBP)
Organisation US Navy 
Department US Office of Naval Research Global
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2011
 
Description EPSRC UK-Japan Nuclear Research Call - Advanced Waste Management Strategies for High Dose Spent Absorbents
Amount £435,120 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 03/2018
 
Description Engineering with Graphene for Multi-functional Coatings and Fibre-Composites
Amount £1,300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K016792/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 01/2017
 
Description European Community-China Nuclear Education Network.
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2013
 
Description European Community-China Nuclear Education Network.
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2013
 
Description GRaphene Enhancement of the Photocatalytic Activity of Semiconductors
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2013 
End 10/2015
 
Description GRaphene Enhancement of the Photocatalytic Activity of Semiconductors
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2013 
End 10/2015
 
Description Glass ceramic interfaces
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Asahi Glass 
Sector Private
Country Japan
Start 03/2012 
End 04/2012
 
Description Glass ceramic interfaces
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Asahi Glass 
Sector Private
Country Japan
Start 03/2012 
End 04/2013
 
Description Graphene 3D networks
Amount £2,200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K01658X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 01/2017
 
Description Hard materials for armour
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2012 
End 11/2013
 
Description Hard materials for armour
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 04/2013
 
Description Hybrid approaches to bone regeneration
Amount £170,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
 
Description Hybrid approaches to bone regeneration
Amount £170,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2011 
 
Description Hybrid approaches to tissue engineering
Amount £1,400,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I020861/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
 
Description Magnesium phosphate cements for nuclear waste encapsulation.
Amount £87,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2011
 
Description Mechanical design and verification methodologies for ceramic structures
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2011
 
Description Mechanical design and verification methodologies for ceramic structures
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2011
 
Description Novel nanocomposites for bone regeneration.
Amount £1,700,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2012
 
Description Processing of C Fibre UHTC composites
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation US Navy 
Department US Office of Naval Research Global
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2012 
End 08/2015
 
Description Programme Grant
Amount £7,580,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P000878/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 06/2021
 
Description Silicon doped boron carbide
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Silicon doped boron carbide
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Structural evolution across multiple time and length scales.
Amount £271,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I02249X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2011
 
Description Support for Workshop on Predictive Multi-scale Modelling of Structural Materials
Amount £4,333 (GBP)
Organisation European Office of Aerospace Research & Development (EOARD) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 08/2014
 
Description Transparent and conducting graphene based electrodes for inorganic solar cells
Amount £209,000 (GBP)
Organisation King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) 
Sector Academic/University
Country Saudi Arabia
Start 10/2010 
 
Description Transparent and conducting graphene based electrodes for inorganic solar cells
Amount £209,000 (GBP)
Organisation King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) 
Sector Academic/University
Country Saudi Arabia
Start 10/2010 
 
Description Understanding and designing materials systems for extreme environments
Amount £2,800,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 01/2018
 
Description William Penney Fellowship
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 08/2015
 
Description William Penney Fellowship
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 08/2015
 
Description William Penney Fellowship
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 08/2015
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2007
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation Morgan Advanced Materials
Department Morgan Technical Ceramics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2011
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation Nagoya Institute of Technology
Department Institute of Ceramics Research and Education
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2010
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation Nanyang Technological University
Country Singapore 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2010
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2011
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation University of Bremen
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2011
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics 
Organisation University of Florida
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2011
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics - Biomaterials 
Organisation Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Department Institute of Biomaterials
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2010
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics - Nuclear and new energy 
Organisation Tsinghua University China
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to provide a framework for future collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements
Start Year 2010
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics - Ultra High Temperature Ceramics - Phase 1 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements - UHTC - Phase 1
Start Year 2008
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics - Ultra High Temperature Ceramics - Phase 2 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements - UHTC - Phase 2
Start Year 2011
 
Description Advanced structural ceramics - Ultra High Temperature Ceramics - Phase 3 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration and as a supplement to existing framework agreements - UHTC - Phase 3
Start Year 2013
 
Description Preparation and characterisation of novel carbon materials for refractory applications 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The study is about preparation and characterisation of water-wettable carbon materials for incorporation in carbon-containing castable systems.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Sabbatical stay at Imperial for Michel Barsoum of Drexel University, USA 
Organisation Drexel University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research collaboration with Michel Barsoum, the world leader in MAX phase ceramics including carbides.
Collaborator Contribution Spent 3 months at Imperial College in London, taught courses, gave lectures at other universities and joined the CAFFE international advisory board.
Impact 1 publication so far, others in preparation.
Start Year 2015
 
Description SiC fibre reinforced glass ceramics 
Organisation Reaction Engines
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research collaboration
Start Year 2012
 
Description The deformation of transition metal carbides, borides and nitrides 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Studying small-scale plastic deformation of brittle ceramics.
Start Year 2009
 
Description The effect of carbon nanotubes on the sintering behaviour of hard and ultra high temperature ceramics 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research is focussed on the processing and characterisation of ceramic-CNT composites.
Start Year 2010
 
Description CASC Annual Report 2011-2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Summary of research outcomes from 'Building New Capability in Structural Ceramics' for the year July 2011 to June 2012. Publicised at www.imperial.ac.uk/casc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Way forward to realistic ultra high temperature ceramics for hypersonic applications. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Oral presentation.

SEMS PG seminar course, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010