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Catalysts, advanced materials and structures

A closeup of some molecular structures.

From the development of self-healing concrete to discovering the potential of gold to neutralise poisonous gases, Cardiff's research is enhancing and manipulating materials to achieve real impact.

We work across a range of disciplines including aerospace, automotive, civil, manufacturing and medical engineering to ensure the materials being used have the strength, stability and functionality required. Application of this research offers operators of high-value structures, such as bridges and aircrafts, the potential to increase usage, reduce design and maintenance and improve safety. 

Supported by funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the European Research Council (ERC) researchers in our  Advanced Materials and Computational Mechanics Research Group use computer modelling to improve the efficiency of construction materials leading to the design of safer and more resilient structures. Their work includes developing concrete that has the ability to sense and respond to damage within its own infrastructure, developing high-performing material replacements for structural steel and using exact member equations in structural analysis to avoid the need for finite element discretisation. This research has been applied by international organisations such as NASA and Airbus . 

The Cardiff Catalysis Institute was established in 2008 and since then has attracted more than £22M in research funding. The Institute is discovering new and unexpected uses for materials such as gold. Researchers are pioneering innovative means to exploit the revolutionary potential of this precious metal to accelerate and optimise chemical processes in a range of industries. This spans the production of plastics that modern life depends on to environmentally friendly energy production.