Advanced materials

Advanced Materials

Research and innovation into advanced materials is a key area at The University of Manchester, focusing on solving some of the world's most critical problems.

Manchester is world-leading at developing new and existing materials for extreme environments.

We also lead the world in characterisation of materials - measuring and exploring materials to help us fully understand their properties - such as graphene.

Facts and figures

Advanced Materials Infographic
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The challenges

  • Globally, corrosion costs more than $2 trillion per year (World Corrosion Organization).
  • Approximately 3.5 million people die each year due to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene (United Nations).
  • Businesses that produce and process materials make up 15% of the UK's GDP (Policy Exchange).
  • Transport accounts for a fifth of the UK's carbon emissions (Department of Energy and Climate Change).
  • New nuclear build is valued at £60 billion in the UK (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change).
  • Just 5.2% of UK energy consumption in 2013 was provided by renewable sources (Department of Energy and Climate Change).
  • Deep-sea platforms drill for oil 10km below the seabed, at temperatures of more than 200°F and under pressures of 20,000psi (BP).
  • Salt canopies above drilling sites can be taller than Mount Kilimanjaro (BP).

How are we tackling them?

  • Single-layer graphene is a million times thinner than a human hair and will revolutionise health care, water and consumer electronics.
  • Dalton Nuclear Institute's paper on welding for nuclear new build received more than 230 citations over a decade.
  • BP has four senior staff permanently on site at the University, giving them an immediate pipeline to our expertise.
  • We're home to the global knowledge base in 2D materials, with over 200 dedicated researchers, two Nobel laureates and more than £170 million of current investment.
  • Our 3D characterisation capability is enabling us to study the properties of new protective coatings for materials such as aluminium used in planes.
  • An aero engine developed by Rolls-Royce with the University is 25% more fuel efficient than its closest competitor.
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