Materials are increasingly required to perform in extreme environments, including elevated temperature, radiation, dynamic strain, and corrosion conditions, and new discoveries are critical for advancing energy efficiency, infrastructure safety, space exploration, and military capabilities. At the same time, advanced manufacturing methods are enabling the design of essential components with unprecedented levels of topological and microstructural control, with a promise of dramatically improved performance under extreme conditions. We are leading development of new materials for high-temperature and corrosive environments, including tougher thermal barrier coatings, low-creep refractory multiple-principal-element alloys, and corrosion-resistant claddings for safer nuclear reactors. We are applying innovative additive manufacturing for scaling up materials with controlled topology and refined microstructures, particularly in refractory alloys. Across many efforts we are developing approaches to accelerate materials discovery and design by orders of magnitude through high-throughput synthesis, characterization and property determination.
UW-Madison has some of the world’s most extensive and advanced resources to support materials research. To promote interaction among faculty and students with materials interests, the engineering campus hosts many laboratories for research areas such as electron microscopy, crystallography, electronic materials, fatigue and fracture, nuclear materials, polymer science, powder metallurgy, radiation damage, rheology, crystal growth and purification, superconductivity, cryogenics, and surface properties.
Facilities and expertise required to design and fabricate special research equipment is available on the engineering campus. In addition to materials research laboratories in engineering and physical science departments, the Wisconsin Centers for Nanoscale Technology offers state-of-the-art general-purpose laboratories, materials preparation facilities, and commonly used apparatus, such as electron microscopes and x-ray diffractometers.
Campus-wide facilities include computing centers, heavy ion and electron accelerators, and a nuclear reactor with facilities for neutron diffraction. Students and faculty also use the Physical Sciences Laboratory.
Check out what’s happening in the Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, which gives our commercial partners the opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty in advanced materials research across the UW-Madison campus.