UKAEA’s Materials Research Facility has hot cells for processing neutron-irradiated samples and equipment for characterising them. It bridges the gap between the university or industrial laboratory and large facilities at nuclear licensed sites, with affordable, convenient access.

We can cut, polish and encapsulate individual Charpy-style samples up to the TeraBecquerel level for analysis either on-site or back at your institute.

There is also a workshop and an experimental area for tritium, beryllium and other hazardous materials.

Experienced staff from UKAEA operate the MRF and provide users with support in sample preparation and analysis, as well as logistics advice for the transport of materials. View the Operations page to see the process of sample preparation.

MRF equipment for tritium retention measurements

MRF equipment for tritium retention measurements.

MRF capabilities

Sample preparation (available now)

  • Hot-cell sample processing for active materials
  • Sample processing for non-active materials
  • Precision Ion-beam Polishing System
  • Sputter Coater
  • Lab-scale Electro Discharge Machining for non-active materials
  • TEM discs preparation techniques
  • Glovebox sample preparation for low-active materials

Sample preparation (under development)

  • Bulk Electrolytical polishing
  • Twin Jet Electrolytical polishing for TEM discs
  • Hot-cell Lab-scale Electro Discharge Machining for active materials
  • Vacuum Furnace

Microstructural Analysis

Mechanical testing

Thermo-physical characterisation

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