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Materials

The Materials Team in KTN covers a broad scope of the materials life cycle, from feedstock, processing techniques, design and manufacture, testing, standardisation, resource efficiency and circularity.

Materials

The team has strong engagement with the entire value chain, from academic researchers, materials developers through to end-users who make products from these materials and businesses who manage end-of-product life issues.  We add value in making the connections that matter.

Materials underpin many applications in our economy. Innovative materials science, engineering and technologies make direct and positive impact on economic growth, the environment and quality of life, through improved processes and products, throughout their lifecycle. The impact of materials is forecast to be even greater as businesses respond to the growing trend in electrification of transport, the drive towards net zero emissions and a comprehensive digital economy.

As a team, we work with industry to make sure that new developments in materials find a useful home to improve the UK economy, environment and quality of life. We bring together the materials supply chain to accelerate innovation, improve productivity and ensure resilience in meeting the needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users.

Our current focus in this area

UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN)

The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) aims to bring together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best means for reducing plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events and related support activities.

Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging activity at KTN is proactively driving engagement and collaboration as part of the core programme of the UKRI ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP).

Foundation Industries

Situated in our industrial heartlands, these sectors include metals, ceramics, glass, chemicals, paper and cement, producing 28m tonnes of material per year, and are worth £52bn annually to the UK economy.

Composites

Composite Materials consist of two different materials different physical and chemical properties. When they are combined, they create a composite material which has superior properties to the original two materials.

Technical Textiles

Textiles are everywhere in modern society. Technical Textiles are defined as materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical and performance properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.

2D Materials

Graphene and other novel two-dimensional (2D) materials have sustained strong interest from academia and industry owing to their unique combination of material properties. These properties, which include strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, are found to be superior to those exhibited by other advanced materials.

Metamaterials

Metamaterials are artificial composite materials, engineered to exhibit unique electromagnetic properties. Metamaterial devices are poised to grow to $10.7 billion globally by 2030 in 5G networks, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and more.

Smart Functional Materials

Smart Functional Materials are defined as those materials that change significantly one or more of their physical or chemical native properties when subjected to changes in their environment, thus rendering them stimuli-responsive.

Ceramics & Glass

Ceramics and glass materials exhibit high strength, high elastic modulus and are electrical and thermal insulators. Advanced ceramics and glasses are engineered to optimise its mechanical, electrical, magnetic and optical properties.

Funding Opportunities

Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Business-led R&D

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million for R&D projects with the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastic Pact targets. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Opens: 18/05/2021 Closes: 08/09/2021

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KTN-iX challenge: Upcycling Protective Plastics from Offshore Wind Farms

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Ørsted to help them reach out to potential innovators that might have solutions involving the upcycling of Transition Piece (TP) covers. The TP cover is a robust, watertight cover that protects the internal working space during the construction phase of an offshore wind turbine.

Opens: 12/07/2021 Closes: 15/10/2021

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Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 6

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £3m to resolve productivity issues by working with the best scientists and research facilities. Your proposal must describe a measurement or analysis problem that will help improve your business’s productivity or competitiveness, and an estimate of the value to your business of solving it.

Opens: 29/07/2021 Closes: 18/08/2021

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Events

Thu
17
Dec
2020

Addressing the Challenge of Microfibres - from source of production to environmental contamination

10.00 - 16.00 | Online

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Thu
5
Nov
2020

Engage with…Department for International Trade: mine to magnet-supply chains for critical material

15.00 - 16.00 | Online

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Tue
16
Mar
2021

Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) 2021

09.00 - 17.00 | Online

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News

04.05.2021

Manufacturing and Materials Funding Round-Up

Find out about the latest funding calls which are relevant to the Manufacturing and Materials sectors. Last updated 2nd July 2021.

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10.06.2021

Breakthrough materials remove excess sound from your environment

Recently Bill Gates has invested in metamaterials. In this article, we look at the successful commercialisation of acoustic metamaterials and try to understand how we might move other metamaterials from the laboratory into commercial applications.

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