MERLIN - Materials Energy Research Lab in Nuclear

Simon and Iuliia in the Lab

MERLIN is our active materials labs with capability for working with uranium compounds.

MERLIN is physically split into three areas:

  • Materials Manufacture & Synthesis
  • Materials Characterisation
  • Thermal Hydraulics Laboratory
For access and information, please contact Dr. Simon Middleburgh.

Equipment List

Materials Manufacture & Synthesis

  • Glovebox: MBraun LABStar
    • for handling pyrophoric metal powders and small quantities of uranium
  • Downflow Booth
  • Ball Mill: Retsch PM 100
  • Roller Mill
  • Automatic Pellet Press
  • Pellet press: Retsch
  • Cold Isostatic press
  • Suite of 3D printers including resin, ceramic, metal and plastic printers
  • Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence Spectrometer
  • Planetary ball mill
  • Shaker Sieve Stack: Retsch AS200
  • Vacuum furnace:
    • Maximum temperature: 2200°C
    •  Atmosphere: Vacuum or
      Inert gas.
  • Tube furnace:
    • Maximum temperature: 1800°C
    • Atmosphere:  air, inert gas or hydrogen.
  • Vertical tube furnace:
    • Maximum temperature: 1600°C
  • Batch furnace: Carbolite CWF 1300
    • Maximum temperature: 1300°C
  • Drying Oven: Carbolite
  • Fume hood
  • Sectioning: Buehler Isomet High Speed with SiC and Diamond tipped blades.
  • Metallographic and ceramographic preparation:
    • Grinding and Polishing: Buehler EcoMet 30
    • Mounting: Buehler SimpliMet 4000
  • Spray Dryer: Yamato DL410
  • Bottom-loaded Furnace: Carbolite Giro 30-3000C    
  • Arc Melter: MTI EQ-SP-MSM207
  • Kiln for thermal treatment of large samples
  • Centrifuge
  • High Pressure Reactor capable of reaching 150 bar and 300 C, volume 100 ml.
  • Pycnometer
  • Fuser for production of glass discs and dissolution in liquids
  • Suite of Analytical balances

Materials Characterisation

  • Scanning electron microscope: Hitachi TM4000
    • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy: Oxford Instruments Aztec One
  • Raman microscopy: Bruker SENTERRA II
  • High temperature Mechanical Tester: Walter + Bai LFMZ-100-M 100kN Servo-Electrical Uniaxial test machine with 900 C Furnace
  • Optical microscopy: Leica DM2700
  • X-ray diffraction: Malvern Panalytical Aeris
    • heated stage capability
  • Simultaneous Thermal Analysis: Netzsch STA 449 F-series (information)
  • Mass Spectrometry: Netzsch QMS 403 Aëolos Quadro
  • Zeta Potential: Cordouan Technologies Wallis Zeta Potentiometer
  • Viscometer
  • Laser Flash for measurement of thermal properties of samples upto temperatures of 1600 C in air and in vacuum.
  • Scintillation detector with high speed digital to analogue convertor
Vacuum Furnace Valves

Thermal Hydraulics Laboratory

Upcoming Projects / Equipment

  • Glovebox with High Purity Ar
  • Highg Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer
  • HEPA Filtered Gloveboxes for handling Radioactive Materials
  • Dual Beam UV-Visible Spectrophometer
  • Shielded Gamma and Scintillation Counters