The Materials Testing and Analysis Unit within The University of Manchester's
School of Materials has been awarded the internationally recognised
- making it the only accredited x-ray residual stress
testing laboratory in the U.K and one of the top-rated research Schools in
Accreditation to this prestigious industry qualification is rare for a university
due to the required level of commercial focus to meet industrial customers'
quality demands. The University of Manchester is now one of only five UK
universities to achieve the UK Accreditation Service's assessment of a testing
laboratory's performance in the field of engineering.
In 2001 the School of Materials was also one of only five UK Materials Schools to
be top-rated as a 5-star (5*) centre of world-class research by the RAE (Research
Assessment Exercise); the government-sponsored ranking of research quality in
The Materials Testing and Analysis Unit was funded by NATEC (Northern Aerospace
Technology Exploitation Centre) in 2002 to provide access to unique x-ray diffraction
and residual stress equipment, originally provided by £2 million of EPSRC funding. It
is now one of the leading laboratories in the world for materials analysis and
development. Customers include UK primes such as Rolls Royce plc, key aerospace
suppliers, plus small to medium companies that wouldn't normally have access to such
Services provided by the NATEC funded unit include the development of new products
and processes, product integrity analysis and failure analysis. A small team of
dedicated staff manage this business unit within the School of Materials, offering a
flexible, responsive service and focusing on customer requirements and continuous
Testing a failed impeller casting from the
power generation industry.
NATEC was established by the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield to 'unlock'
knowledge and resources for the UK aerospace industry. The organisation accesses
over 200 academics and £300m equipment and has over 40 aerospace businesses
at universities and colleges across Northern England. NATEC awarded the Materials
Testing and Analysis Unit over £300,000; fundingfour staff members, the refurbishment
and renovation of laboratory facilities and specialist advice on business development.
NATEC Chairman, Professor Philip Withers says, "We are extremely proud to have
achieved the prestigious UKAS accreditation to ISO 17025. In the future
the Materials Testing and Analysis Unit plans to increase its top-rated business and
research activities by opening up further unique and expert resources within the
School of Materials for the benefit of UK industry."
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