Brunel Experimental Techniques Centre (ETC)
The Experimental Techniques Centre has been established for over twenty years in purpose built laboratories designed to accommodate high resolution electron microscopes and analytical equipment.
ETCbrunel is a highly regarded consultancy and research Centre for engineering, forensic and environmental investigations, including expert witness statements for legal purposes. UKAS accreditation has been obtained for many of the services offered. ETC services include Characterisation, Analysis, Research and Consultancy, covering areas such as asbestos fibre analysis, surface examination and heavy metal analysis.
Characterisation facilities and services include
- surface texture, particulate morphology and element distribution of solid materials, using AFM and SEM with EDX or WDX analysis; high resolution imaging and advanced analysis are carried out with the Centre’s state-of-the-art field emission scanning electron microscope (FEG-SEM).
- elemental composition of bulk materials and liquids, using a non-destructive XRF technique capable of detecting elements above Sodium in the periodic table to high sensitivity.
- material structure established by metallography, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with selected area electron diffraction, or electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) analysis on the FEG-SEM.
- surface composition at atomic level, using either Auger or X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).
- material physical properties - hardness, tensile strength and thermal characteristics.
Analytical services include Asbestos Analysis, Failure Analysis, Heavy Metal Analysis, Surface Roughness, Particulate Analysis.
Current, active research areas include
- Metallurgy and Advanced Materials (Including friction stir welding, Electroceramics)
- Diamond-like carbon and Nanotubes (Smart tooling, aerospace, medical implants)
- Forensics (fingerprints and damaged mobile phones)
- Biomedical materials and devices (Simulated healing, smart implants, shape-memory alloy)
- Environmental (Land and waterway remediation, heavy metals in biological tissue)
- Archaeology and Archaeometrics (Iron work in Ireland, East Asian microbialites)