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Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetMATERIALS laboratory, with facilities in Hamilton and Calgary, is the largest research centre in Canada dedicated to metals and materials research, focusing on fabrication, processing and evaluation. Scientific and technical staff are involved in research and development to provide materials solutions for Canadian industry in the energy, transportation and metal-manufacturing sectors. Canada has long been a leader in this field.
The mandate of CanmetMATERIALS is to develop and deploy technologies that improve all aspects of producing and using value-added products derived from metals and minerals. Particular emphasis is placed on solving technological problems of relevance to NRCan’s mandate in clean energy and sustainable development and transferring materials technology to Canadian companies.
CanmetMATERIALS’ research focuses on three industrial sectors that use Canada’s natural resources and are central to the mandate of NRCan:
- Transportation — particularly the manufacturing of vehicles, engines and components, which require new advanced-materials solutions to improve fuel efficiency while maintaining safety and performance;
- Energy — components for use in clean energy production (such as next-generation nuclear reactors and clean combustion systems for fossil fuels) and reliable pipelines to transport gas, oil, biofuels and carbon dioxide; and
- Metal Manufacturing — components for a variety of other sectors, such as defence, aerospace, health and construction, that require high-performance materials.
CanmetMATERIALS laboratory staff work closely with clients and stakeholders in each of these sectors.
The hammer forge was built in Dundas, Ontario, in the 1890s. For many years it was used to process iron in Montreal. In 1940, the hammer forge was purchased by the Physical Metallurgy Research Laboratory, now CanmetMATERIALS of Natural Resources Canada, and was converted from steam to pneumatic operation for research purposes.
From 1940 to the early 1980s, the forge was used in the Canmet laboratory to study a range of steel, titanium, zirconium, magnesium, zinc and nickel alloys for industries as diverse as nuclear energy and aerospace. For example, the forge produced test materials such as specialized welding wire for use in the offshore oil and gas industry.
Office of Canada's Minister of
Natural Resources Canada
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