The mission of the department of Materials Science and Engineering is to provide internationally recognised, high quality materials research of benefit to industry and society, addressing material lifecycle, structure, properties and functionality from a physics based perspective, and to furnish graduates and post graduates with a top level education in materials science and engineering, preparing them to meet existing and future technological and societal challenges.
Embedded in the research are also topics or activities of a wider importance for Delft University of Technology, such as analysis techniques - scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, surface analysis (Auger, XPS), optical microscopy - and mechanical testing.
The department of Materials Science & Engineering has a large collection of state-of-the-art equipment for teaching and research, for example:
- Optical microscopes, including a confocal microscope, with the necessary preparation facilities. These are used to study material microstructures, both during practicals and for actual research. The course Characterisation of Materials pays attention to optical microscopy.
- Surface analysis equipment, such as a Scanning Electron Microscope, microprobe, Auger, and XPS. The principles of the underlying techniques are taught in the courses Characterisation of Materials and Advanced Characterisation.
- Diffractometers to determine crystal structure, texture and perform stress measurements. The basics of this technique are taught in the Characterisation of Materials course.
- Thermomechanical simulators (Gleeble) in which specific temperature and mechanical loading can be applied. This is used to simulate processes like welding, rolling, etc., processes which are explained in the courses Processing of Materials I and II and Joining Technologies.
- Mechanical testing equipment (both electromechanical and hydraulic) for performing tensile, bending, fracture mechanical and fatigue tests. The basic concepts of these tests are explained in the courses Mechanical Behaviour of Materials and Science of Failure.
- Surface research equipment: corrosion testing, coating application systems, atomic force microscope, etc.. Related modules are Characterisation of Materials, Corrosion and Protection Against Corrosion and Corrosion Science.