Materials Engineering Group

Plasma cutter cutting metal

About the Materials Engineering Group

The group has a diverse range of interests covering many topics within the field of Materials, including ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, fracture and failure mechanisms, ceramics, polymers and composites. It has a history of providing a service both in research, failure analysis and routine testing to the materials industry in New Zealand and is continuing to develop this role.

  • Three Dimensional Analysis of Creep Voids in Hydrogen Reformer Tubes
  • Porous Biomaterials Research for Tissue Engineering
  • Wear Testing of Biomaterials
  • Wear Testing of Seal Components in a Novel IC Engine Design
  • Magnesium Alloy Development for Fatigue Resistance
  • Recrystallisation of Mg Alloys
  • Influence of Alloying on Cold Rolling and Extrusion of Mg Alloys
  • EBSD of Intermetallic Phases in Structural Materials
  • Squeeze Casting of Al-Si Alloys
  • Pb-free Solder Materials
  • Cellulose-reinforced Composites
  • Extraction of Cellulose from NZ Flax and Hemp
  • Elastic Properties of Wood
  • Milo V Kral
    Solid state phase transformations, rapid solidification processing, microstructural characterisation using analytical electron microscopy and diffraction methods.
  • Mark P Staiger
    Magnesium alloys, metallic foams, low carbon steel, strain aging, thermomechanical processing, laser processing of materials, natural fibre composites, liquid moulding composites, metallic biomaterials.
  • Catherine M Bishop
    Computational materials science, interfaces in ceramics, material thermodynamics, phase-field modelling.
  • Susan Krumdieck
    PP-MOCVD, ceramic coatings and thin film materials, advanced energy and material systems lab (AEMSLab)

Technical Assistance

  • Kevin Stobbs Technical Officer. Materials testing, chemical analysis, metallography.

Failure Analysis and Metallurgical Engineering Laboratories

The Materials Engineering Group has a diverse range of interests covering many topics within the field of Materials, including ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, fracture and failure mechanisms, ceramics, polymers and composites. We have a history of providing research, failure analysis and testing to New Zealand Industry.

We realize that Industry needs quick results - and we are prepared to complete analyses in as little as 24 hours

The Group

The Laboratory

  • Leica and Olympus light microscopes with digital imaging
  • JEOL Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy
  • Hitachi Transmission Electron Microscope
  • Rockwell Hardness Tester
  • LECO Microhardness Tester
  • Heat treatment facilities
  • MTS tensile testing machine

Contact Information

Phone: +64 (3) 3 364 2596

Failure Analysis Consultation

The Materials Group's team of engineers and technicians combines design, industrial process and material testing experience to accurately determine the root cause of product and process problems. Whatever the material, chances are we've tested it and understand its properties.

Aerospace Materials - Automotive Materials - Aluminum - Brasses - Carbon Steels - Castings - Coatings - Composites - Corrosion Resistant Steels - CVD and PVD Coatings - Elastomers - Electronic Components - Plating - Polymers - Powder Metals - Tool Steels.

The list below shows that The Materials Group can go well beyond physical testing. We test the total environment and condition of metal parts and sub assemblies and have the equipment and the expertise to move to the microstructure level to complete the analysis process.

  • Chemical Verification
  • Coating Thickness and Composition
  • Contamination
  • Corrosion Analysis
  • Fiber Identification
  • Fractography
  • Macro Etching
  • Mechanical Testing
  • Microstructure Evaluation
  • Non-destructive inspection
  • Photo Documentation
  • Physical Testing
  • Quality control
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Weld Evaluation

Examples of Recent Cases

  • Investigation of Weld Microstructures in Aluminum Lithium Alloys.
  • Failure of engine exhaust manifolds for Motor Homes.
  • Materials Selection for River Lock Gate Applications.
  • Analysis of Cracked Welded Assembly.
  • Analysis of Fractured Hydraulic Shaft.
  • Investigation of Fire Damage.
  • Dimensional Analysis of Printed Circuit Boards.
  • Failure Analysis of a Fractured Spring.
  • Feasibility Study for Rotor Molded Polyethylene.
  • Microstructural Analysis of Heat Resistant Materials.
  • Analysis of a Joining Tool.
  • Analysis of printed circuit board copper plating thickness.
  • Analysis of Enamel, Solder, Electroplated and Hot Dip Galvanized coatings.
  • Defects in Aluminum Castings.
  • Environmental Stress Cracking in Polycarbonate

Research Opportunities

Postgraduate Research Projects Available.

If the research direction of the Materials Group is of interest to you, and you are in possession (or about to be) of a good Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, please contact:

Milo Kral

International Director of Studies
Mechanical Engineering E501
Internal Phone: 92102

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