Structural Integrity and Materials Reliability Centre
CIEFMA is a centre specialised in materials technologies. Its activity includes the study of materials, their mechanical properties and their in-service behaviour; analysis of the causes of degradation and breakage of industrial products; and the development of structural-reliability assessment solutions for materials and components.
These activities are oriented towards the study of the micromechanisms that govern the mechanical behaviour of engineering materials, with special emphasis on establishing the effect of microstructure and influencing its behaviour.
The centre's main areas of expertise are as follows:
Stainless steels, tool steels, powder metal alloys, titanium alloys, metal matrix composites, etc.
Multi-layered coatings and materials
Thermal barriers, solid oxide fuel cells, etc.
in material selection, microstructure design, and degradation and fracture analysis of in-service components.
Ceramic matrix composite and nanocomposites.
Dental zirconia, bioceramics, alumina, dental porcelain, etc.
Hard metal, cermets, diamonds, tribological coatings, etc.
Determination of surface mechanical properties (Young's modulus, hardness, etc.) by means of nanoindentation.
Thanks to its unique facilities, CIEFMA is in a privileged position to address and solve problems related to engineering materials in a creative manner, providing solutions that imply not only the transfer of technology to industry but also the creation of basic knowledge in the scientific arena.
Currently one patent is available to out-licence:
- Procedure to increase durability of zirconia in dental applications (P201131289)
These technological capacities – guidance in material selection, the design of new structural applications, expert appraisals, experimental tests, characterisations, calculations, simulations and so on – are oriented towards industry:
Automotive components, railways, aeronautics.
Ironworks, casting, forging, powder metallurgy, heat treatments, surface coatings.
Manufacture and use of tools and moulds.
Petrochemical industry, paper industry.
Ceramic products, metal reinforcements for concrete.
Dentistry and orthopaedics.
Study of materials that improve energy savings.
CIEFMA belongs to the Materials Fatigue and Fracture Research Group, which is recognised by the Catalan government as a consolidated research group and holds two registered patents.
Prototypes of yttria-doped zirconia dental prosthetics resistant to hydrothermal degradation
The centre developed a highly degradation-resistant zirconia dental post.
Failure analysis of a duplex-steel starch centrifuge
The centre investigated the failure of a three-ton duplex-steel basket and determined the origin and cause of the cracks that led to fracture.