In the last decades, mankind has learned to engineer materials to the atomic scale and create new devices that have completely changed the way we live, including:
- Computers and smartphones that make use of semiconductor chips
- Carbon composites with high strength to weight ratio
- Smart materials with properties that change on exposure to certain stimuli
- Miniaturized motors using magnets made from rare earth materials
- Energy-efficient, highly reliable aircraft engines
- Nanomaterials with unique properties and functionality
- Low-pollution vehicles using new sensors and catalyzers
- High-resolution flat displays utilizing liquid crystal technology
- Compact, long life batteries based on Li-ion technology
- High-brightness, low-power lighting using Gallium Nitride multilayers
and much, much more!
Did you know… even the plastic wrapping of foodstuff is a multi-layer material? Each layer has its own function: one adds strength, another one is moisture-tight, some third acts as UV protector. Intermediate layers are required for good adhesion. Our food stays fresh longer, thanks to advanced materials.
The development and manufacture of advanced materials has also been enhanced by the availability of more advanced processing techniques such as Additive Manufacturing, which allow materials to be built from the ground-up, layer by layer, providing greater flexibility in terms of structure, composition and material properties.
Key to developing and manufacturing advanced materials with the required functionality and performance is understanding the relationship between material structure and material properties. Material characterization is central to this process since it allows structure and properties to be correlated and their impact on performance to be assessed.
Research and development
All advanced materials start their life at the research lab. Specific additives, coatings, treatments are synthesized or formulated, tried and tested, to assess and improve performance. Malvern Panalytical’s solutions are used to determine the structure and properties of advanced materials and their components at the atomic and molecular level through to the macroscopic scale. These include technologies for assessing chemical composition, molecular weight, particle size, crystal structure and rheological properties. Our technologies and expertise help researchers across the globe to understand, develop, optimize and commercialize their materials for both specialized and widespread applications. As just a few examples, the cathode materials for Li-ion batteries as well as the high brightness LED were developed using our equipment, demonstrating the impact our high-quality material characterization tools can make. We can also develop customized solutions for you, to create unique instrumentation for cutting-edge research.
Process development and control
Material structure and properties are not just influenced by composition but by processing also. Hence, processing is key to producing a consistent product with the required performance, whether using conventional manufacturing techniques or advanced processing technologies such as Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing. So, once your Advanced Material has been commercialized, we can help you reach optimal yields and consistent performance with online and industrial variants of our research and laboratory tools. Whether it is online particle size analysis of powder flows, batch characterization of high-brightness LED’s, or automated residual stress analysis for engine parts, we have a process solution for you. Do you have a special requirement? We can develop customized process control solutions for you.