Ceramics and Glass Research Group
Our research in ceramics and glasses focuses on the development of new materials and tailoring of materials properties for a wide range of applications. These include structural ceramics such as refractories and clayware; novel energy harvesting and storage electroceramics; ceramic composites for electrical, energy and armour applications; and glasses for technical, optical, energy, radioactive waste immobilisation and biomedical applications.
Using a wide range of fabrication and sample preparation facilities combined with advanced analytical techniques, we have developed new ceramic and glass materials with new and improved optical, electronic, structural, physical, chemical and mechanical properties.
Our research is closely aligned with industrial applications and is positively impacting on key business challenges, for example reducing energy consumption and waste; improving product quality; new electronic and thermoelectric components; dental materials; ceramic armour; and solar energy materials.
We work closely with industry and key academic partners to carry out research into new structural ceramics in areas including:
- Ceramic manufacture, energy and sustainability
- Refractory fibres for thermal insulation
- Novel processing methods for structural ceramics
- Raw material development
- Furnace refractory analysis and development
Our research in advanced ceramics comprises a wide range of materials and applications, including:
- Piezoelectric ceramics
- Thermoelectric ceramics
- Ceramic catalyst materials
- Superconducting ceramics
- Advanced fibre materials
Our research and knowledge exchange activities in glasses comprise developing new glasses and glass-ceramics with a diverse range of applications including:
- Glasses with novel optical, physical or chemical properties
- Solar energy glasses
- Glasses for radioactive and toxic waste immobilisation
- Urban mining of wastes as novel glassmaking raw materials
- Glass fibre materials for thermal insulation
- Glass manufacture, energy and sustainability
- Glasses and glass-ceramics with biological and dental applications
- Composition-structure-property relations in glass forming systems
- Advanced spectroscopy of glass materials
Our research in this specialist area focuses on the improvement of materials properties through the development of novel ceramic composites. Using some of most advanced techniques and equipment, we have been improving wear resistance, strength, fracture toughness, corrosion resistance and reducing weight. This research is closely aligned with industry application, and is already positively impacting on key business challenges such as reducing energy consumption whilst improving product quality.
Our expertise in this area combines technical engineering knowledge of ceramics with technical glasses and an understanding of electronics and electrical ceramics.
We have been undertaking considerable research, funded by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), to develop new materials for use in ceramic armour. The properties of the new ceramic material are much improved - between 15-30% lighter with equal performance. This prize-winning work has since been spun out of the University, with the creation of a company called Xeracarb, enabling us to continue this particular stream of activity.