skip to primary navigationskip to content

Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge



Our research on alloys containing intermetallic compounds seeks to develop new alloys for high temperature applications.

Chromium alloys containing intermetallic Laves phase have been explored as a candidate for high temperature service. Cr–Cr2Ta dual phase alloys, developed within the UTC, have demonstrated noteworthy strengths at elevated temperatures alongside good oxidation resistance. Work is also exploring the mechanical properties of Laves phases themselves and understanding how their atomic bonding effects their plasticity.  Below is a micrograph from a Cr-Ta-Si alloy.


Refractory metal based alloys, capable of operating at higher temperatures than  nickel-base superalloys, are being sought. Research in the UTC is exploring unusual ternary systems containing a refractory metal to produce alloys with a refractory metal matrix reinforced by an intermetallic phase. Experimental investigations into these systems are generating new and exciting structures.

Gamma titanium aluminides are structural intermetallics with a singular combination of low densities (3.9 - 4.2 g/cm3) and excellent mechanical properties at temperatures up to 750 °C.  This makes them ideal candidates for replacing nickel-base superalloys in low pressure turbine (LPT) blades. Consequently, an understanding of the relationship between their complex microstructures (see below) and their high-temperature deformation and fracture behaviour is of great interest. Our current work aims to isolate the effect of microstructural parameters, such as the colony size and lamellae spacing, on the deformation and fracture mechanisms.

RSS Feed Latest news

PhD studentships now available within the group

Jan 09, 2018

Navigate onto our vacancies page to find out more!

Strategic Partnership with Rolls-Royce shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017

Oct 03, 2017

The Rolls-Royce partnership with the universities of Cambridge, Swansea and Birmingham has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017. Find out more here:

New high temperature thermocouple

Nov 14, 2016

Dr. Michele Scervini has developed a new thermocouple for high-temperature applications

MS&T Literature Review Prize

Jun 15, 2016

Alison Wilson voted runner up in this year's competition