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The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Materials for Energy Group

Materials for energy encompasses a number of areas:

Engine materials

Improving performance at elevated temperatures forms an important focus, increasing efficiency and reducing emissions for both automotive and aerospace applications

Power generation materials

Improved high temperature performance is again addressed, allowing for increased plant efficiency, as well as dealing with the anticipated performance requirements in biomass firing.

Lightweight materials for transport

Lightweight alloys, composites and hybrid structures are assessed for both improved specific properties (and therefore associated fuel conservation due to weight reduction), and, more recently, alternative fuel storage (particularly high performance pressure vessels for the proposed hydrogen economy).

Underlying all these areas is a focus on structural performance assessment under a range of service conditions.  A micromechanistic approach is taken, which in turn leads to physically well-founded optimisation strategies in the use of existing materials (including hybrid structures, coatings etc), and the development of new materials systems with enhanced performance. 

Facilities

The group has access to extensive experimental mechanics capabilities (with a range of environment, temperature and loading configurations) as well as sophisticated materials characterisation facilities

Collaboration

Previous research projects have been funded by Rolls-Royce, Airbus, QinetiQ, ALSTOM, Federal Mogul, Dana Glacier Vandervall and Luxfer Gas Cylinders

Staff
Al-alloy foam sample and mesh

Our research strengths

Thermal energy

Electrochemical engineering

Solar energy

Maritime energy

Electromechanical energy

Energy management and control

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