Scientific infrastructures

Synthesis, processing and integration of materials

Metallic alloys

• Bulk processing techniques: casting by induction and arc melting, as well as a Gleeble physical simulator, furnished with fixtures suitable for rolling, extrusion, torsion, sintering, welding, and rapid solidification.
• Powders manufactured by gas atomisation and mechanical milling. Selective laser melting technology for additive manufacturing of metals.

Polymer based composites and nanocomposites

• Liquid moulding processing: RTM resin transfer moulding, VI vacuum infusion, RFI resin film infusion and pultrusion.
• Prepreg lamination using vacuum bagging of autoclave and out-of-autoclave prepregs (OoA) or laminate hot-press moulding (<400°C).
• Semi-industrial equipment for compounding and injection moulding of thermosplastics.
• Integration of advanced nano-fillers.
• 3D printing of polymers and composite materials.

Nanomaterials

• Synthesis and chemical modification of nanocarbons, inorganic materials, nanoporous semiconductors, thin films, zeolites and other nanomaterials.
• Evaporation equipment in controlled atmospheres, high-pressure reactors and in-house chemical vapour deposition systems.

Energy storage and conversion devices

• Synthesis and characterisation of nanostructured electrode materials for energy storage applications. Fabrication of
composite electrodes and integration in various types of rechargeable batteries (Li-ion, Li-S, Li-O2, Na-ion, and hybrid
devices etc.).
• Fabrication and testing of nanocarbon-based electrodes and their integration with liquid and solid electrolytes to form large-area (> 100 cm2) flexible supercapacitors.
• Integration of energy-storage functions in structural composites.

Microstructural and chemical characterisation

• 3D microscopy at different length-scales, including X-ray tomography, 3D-SEM, 3D-EDS and 3D-EBSD in the FIB and 3D-TEM and 3D-EDS in the TEM.
• In-situ mechanical testing of mininaturised samples in the X-ray tomography system as well as in the SEM and TEM.
• In-situ processing studies in the X-ray tomography system, such as casting, infiltration and curing of polymer based materials.
• Raman spectrophotometer.

Mechanical properties

• Mechanical testing of a wide range of materials, using electromechanical and hydraulic machines (quasi-static, dynamic, fracture and fatigue testing in a wide range of temperatures).
• Characterisation of mechanical properties at multiple length scales, including nanoindentation, micropillar compression,
microtensile testing and fracture micromechanics.
• Tests can be carried out both ex-situ and in-situ in SEM, TEM and X-ray tomography including measurements at elevated temperature.

Simulation

• Simulation techniques at different scales (electronic, atomistic, mesoscopic and continuum) to design or improve materials
and components by means of virtual testing and virtual processing.
• High-performance computer cluster (600+ Intel Xeon CPU cores and NVIDIA GPU acceleration leading to a computational
power of 90 Tflops).
• In-house developed simulation tools.
• Commercial and open source software tools for modelling and simulation in Materials Science and Enginnering (CALPHAD, DICTRA, Micress, Abaqus, LSDyna, PamCrash, LAMMPS, etc.).

Functional properties

Fire resistance

• Rapid laboratory scale tests for screening (micro-scale combustion calorimetry and oxygen index).
• Dual cone calorimetry and UL94 Horizonal/Vertical Flame Chamber.

Thermal

• DSC, TGA and Hot Disk Thermal Conductivity analyse. Thermal behaviour of mechanical properties, DMA and rheology. 
• Pushrod Dilatomer for the measurement of dimensional changes.

Electrochemical

• Electrochemical characterisation of energy storage devices (Li-ion, Li-S, Li-O2, Na-ion, and hybrid batteries).
• Simultaneous testing of 100 batteries can be performed using a multichannel battery tester.

External services

IMDEA Materials provides experimental support for academic and industrial collaborators for the characterization of samples of different nature through the following laboratories:

Micro and nanomechanics Laboratory NANOMEC (RedLab 359)

       External use of TEM
       External use of X-Ray Tomograph

Materials processing and characterization Laboratory PROCAMAT (RedLab 360)

Synthesis of Nanomaterials SYNANO (RedLab 361)

Fire Resistance Laboratory FIRERESLAB (RedLab 362)