OF INTEREST: Size matters in European materials project

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is one of the partners in a materials research project that has recently been awarded significant European funding.
The project will explore techniques that can accurately examine engineering components at a range of sizes and scales — right down to the nanoscale analysis carried out in Culham’s Materials Research Laboratory (MRL).
To get a consistent picture of the properties of a material, researchers need to examine it at different length-scales. This new study will look at how changing the specimen size or the size of the probe used for testing affects the measured engineering properties. Test methods or design rules can then be developed that compensate for such ‚size effects’.
It is hoped that EU companies can use the results to design and manufacture better components with longer life and lower energy use. The work will also benefit the fusion and fission research sectors, where smaller samples represent less of a safety risk when examining the condition of components.
Led by the National Physical Laboratory, the project consortium brings together major industry players such as EDF, AMEC, AWE and Tata Steel with universities and research institutes around Europe. The grant of ~€1.8M has been made by European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET).
Read more on CCFE website.