Functional Materials Group


The IRC is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for synthesis, processing, fabrication and characterisation of ceramic powders, materials, components and devices. Some of the equipment is listed below.

Powder Synthesis and CharacterisationPowder Synthesis and Characterisation

  • Netszch Dilatometer for 1600C with atmosphere control
  • Netszch Dilatometer for 2000C for vacuum/inert atmosphere work
  • Edwards Freeze Drier
  • Ball Mills and High Energy Vibro-Mill for particle comminution
  • Powder Synthesis and CharacterisationLaser Diffraction Particle Size Analysers – Coulter and Sympatec

Processing, Fabrication and Sintering

  • 2-Roll Mills
  • 3-Roll Mill
  • 50 ton Press
  • Screen Printer
  • Large range of ovens, muffle furnaces and tube furnaces with temperature capabilities to 1700C
  • 2-roll Calender
  • Laminar Flow powder handling and processing areas 100kN and 200kN Instron testing machines (used for instrumented pressing and extrusion work)

Materials and Device Characterisation

  • Materials and Device CharacterisationElectromagnetic Characterisation from 100MHz – 20GHz via HP 4914A Impedance / Gain Phase Analyser HP 8720A Vector Network Analyser
  • Wide range of test cavities for microwave materials measurements at normal and cryogenic temperatures. High power microwave amplifiers available for 1-2GHz and 8-12GHz frequency ranges
  • Computer controlled electromagnetic measurements from -70 to +200C
  • Materials and Device CharacterisationPiezoelectric sensor and actuator device characterisation with computer control
  • Surface roughness characterisation (Talysurf)
  • High voltage electrical supplies and heated oil bath for poling of piezoelectric materials
  • Wide range of DC voltage and current supplies with micro- and nano-voltmeters for DC characterisation at normal and cryogenic temperatures
  • Optical Microscope with Digital Camera
  • 3-point and 4-point mechanical property measurements
  • Accutom 50 for precision cutting and surface grinding