Facilities

The group now has been equipped with both strong computational and experimental facilities. This ensures a delivery of novel, high-quality research. Feel free to contact us for collaboration or using our facilities.

Computational facilities

(1) Numerical codes

Our group has developed a wide range of numerical codes. This includes

(i) User subroutines for Fortran for Finite element analysis, including continuum damage mechanics, crystal plasticity model, cohesive zone model and phase field fracture methods;

(ii) The development of new software packages for generating composite materials with random microstructures (fibre composite, brick-and-mortar, fibre bridging, etc.), cellular structures (spinodal structure) or lattice structures (triangular lattice, hexagonal lattice, etc.);

(iii) Data-driven methods from Bayesian Machine Learning to Neural Network.

Most of these codes are freely shared to the community – see the Codes tab or Github repository.

(2) High performance computing (HPC) cluster

Group members have unlimited access to QMUL’s HPC facilities, which includes a different Tier of high performance computing cluster, including

(i) The group has unlimited access to Apocrita, which is a heterogeneous HPC cluster comprising around 350 nodes and 12,500 cores. The group also have bought some high-end computing nodes for group member use only.

(ii) We have access to a number of Tier 2 clusters which are among the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful computer systems.

Experimental facilities

We have a range of experimental facilities covering additive manufacturing, mechanical test and electrochemical test.

(1) Additive manufacturing

Ultimaker Family

We have a whole flee of Ultimaker printers. From Ultimaker S2 to Ultimaker S5 (belongs to our group). They are powerful, reliable, and versatile FDM printers. We can print  full portfolio of Ultimaker materials,  ABSCPE+Nylon, and TPU 95A and Carbon-P, etc.

Anisoprint

The anisoprint A4 (from our group) offers a unique feature that can print continuous carbon fibre composites. It uses Composite Fibre Co-extrusion (CFC) technology. Anisoprint’s patented technology for extruding matrix and continuous fibre through one extruder offers the most flexibility for composite manufacturing.

Formlab 3

We have the access to the Form 3+ printer from the Advanced Robotics Lab. Formlab 3 is an advanced form of stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing technology that uses linear illumination and a flexible tank to turn liquid resin into flawless prints. 

(2) Manufacturing of polymer and composites

The group has access to a variety of polymer processing methods from Nanoforce (a spin-out company of QMUL).

We are also able to manufacture composite laminates using vacuum-assisted resin infusion, resin transfer moulding (RTM) and compression moulding.

(3) Mechanical test

Instron series

We have unlimited access to the universal testing machines within our school. Generally, these machines can be divided into two groups: screw-driven and servo-hydraulic. These machines are able to measure the mechanical properties from biomedical materials to high performance structural materials (metal, composites).

The load cell ranges from 10 N to 30 kN. The maximum loading rate can reach 560 mm/min.

The machines are also equipped with environmental chamber so that the temperature and humidity can be controlled.

(4) Electrochemical test

Glove box:

We have access to glovebox from the electrochemical lab, which is a sealed container that is designed to allow one to manipulate objects where a separate atmosphere (argon or nitrogen) is desired. This is particularly useful when working with Li-ion batteries.

Potentiostats:

We have high-performance potentiostats (Bio-logic) to characterise the electrochemistry of energy-storage devices. This include investigations of reaction mechanisms related to redox chemistry and other chemical phenomena.