Materials Science

There is a growing need for superior materials for more demanding energy related applications.  These materials need to face hostile environments associated with high temperatures, corrosive atmospheres and high radiation doses while having to demonstrate long term durability.  Such materials are essential to advance the production of energy involving high temperatures such as solar thermal and higher temperature conventional power production as well as a broader range of advanced technology energy production techniques.

One such extreme material is Titanium Silicon Carbide which has the combined best qualities of metals and ceramics.  In a collaborative effort between science and engineering, and researchers at The University of Newcastle (Professors John O'Connor, Bruce King and Erich Kisi) and researchers from Fudan University, the paper Damage accumulation and recovery in C+-irradiated Ti3SiC2 reveals that the material Titanium Silicon Carbide has demonstrated that it is very resistant to damage from radioactive species.  This radiation damage resistance makes it an ideal material for applications involving electronics in high radiation environments as well as structural materials in future fusion reactors currently being developed at ITER in France.

Materials science is one of the cornerstones of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) Advanced Materials for Energy Applications research concentrations. This research platform acts as a hub for world-class research expertise in the areas of energy production and utilisation, conversion and storage. It aims to develop advanced materials for energy storage and efficiency to minimise energy costs and increase energy efficiency.  The Advanced Materials sector is growing globally and is a key enabler for the development of new energy technologies in this essential economic sector. Advanced Materials are recognised as critical to transforming industry from resource intensive to knowledge intensive businesses, and has been identified by the European Commission as one of six key enabling technologies essential for economic and sustainable development.

Find out more