Materials and Processes Capability Group

Department overview

From Satellites orbiting space to breaking the land speed record, correct materials & processes are critical for the success of any Project. And it doesn’t stop there. What conditions will that material encounter? How will it react to impact? How can it be made stronger or stiffer? Can it repair itself? Working in multiple industries and applying our expertise to constantly changing technologies, these are the key challenges our Engineers face.

The Materials and Processes (M&P) team at the NCC is composed of four specialist teams.

The Materials and Process Selection team uses extensive composite materials experience to undertake research programmes, assessing, trialling, demonstrating, and commercially implementing composite materials into new industries, or into novel applications.

Core capabilities include:

  • Practical and theoretical assessment of thermosets and thermoplastics
  • Cost feasibility and lifecycle
  • Materials selection, definition, trial and evaluation
  • Application of new materials and processes
  • Process monitoring

The Process Development team boasts a selection of skilled research engineers with materials and processing backgrounds within composite manufacturing, across a multitude of sectors. The team brings expertise to NCC programmes of work to incorporate novel composite concepts and production techniques. Through process development, the centre can help our Members and customers achieve complex geometries through predictable and robust processing, low cycle times, and part integration and assembly.

The Materials and Test Laboratory team are a combination of materials engineers and test specialists who provide testing expertise to determine physical, chemical and functional properties of composite materials. This knowledge underpins the cutting-edge research conducted at the NCC. Using both standard and developmental test methods, we can supply materials knowledge and test data into research and manufacturing projects conducted at the centre.
Core capabilities include:

  • Thermal analysis and rheological testing to assess cure behaviour and processability
  • Microscopy and X-ray CT scanning to evaluate laminate defects after processing

The Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) team consists of highly experienced level 2 and 3 specialists who provide quality assurance of composite materials through the use of various non-destructive test methods and techniques. This testing is applied throughout the whole manufacturing process to ensure design and manufacturing is suitable for future quality assurance and repair.


Main activities

  • Provide expertise in advanced matrix and reinforcement materials used in the manufacture of composite parts and structures
  • Develop, optimise and demonstrate manufacturing processes and provide expertise in specific composite manufacturing capabilities
  • Provide expertise in NDT methodologies to support R&D projects
  • Provide expertise in, and to carry out testing of composite materials to determine physical, chemical and functional properties

Sound like you? Consult our Vacancies page for more info.

 +44 (0) 117 370 7600