Materials

CanmetMATERIALS, with facilities in Hamilton and Calgary, is the largest research centre in Canada dedicated to the fabrication, processing and evaluation of metals and materials. 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.

CanmetMATERIALS’s mandate is to develop and deploy technologies to 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 Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)'s mandate in clean energy and sustainable development and on transferring materials technology to Canadian companies. In doing so, CanmetMATERIALS strives to develop technologies to improve the reliability of energy production and energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, result in innovative products for a green economy, and enhance health, security and safety.

CanmetMATERIALS’s research focuses on three industrial sectors that are enormous users of Canada’s natural resources and, therefore, are central to NRCan’s mandate. Laboratory staff work closely with clients and stakeholders in these sectors.

  • Transportation — CanmetMATERIALS works mostly with vehicle, engine and component manufacturers, who require new advanced-materials solutions to improve fuel efficiency while maintaining safety and performance.
  • Energy — CanmetMATERIALS works on components for use in clean energy production (such as next-generation nuclear reactors and clean combustion systems for fossil fuels) and on reliable pipelines to transport gas, oil, biofuels and carbon dioxide.
  • Metal manufacturing — CanmetMATERIALS works on components for a variety of other sectors, such as defence, aerospace, health and construction, which require high-performance materials.

CanmetMATERIALS also studies other aspects of sustainable development, such as process efficiency improvement and materials recycling, and has expertise and facilities for the pilot-scale production and performance assessment of novel materials. CanmetMATERIALS houses unique facilities for handling hot and molten metal in pilot-scale quantities in its experimental casting and metal-forming laboratories. It also characterizes the microstructure of innovative materials and assesses their mechanical, corrosion, thermal and electrochemical performance.

These unique facilities are used by university researchers through CanmetMATERIALS’s Resource for the Innovation of Engineered Materials program, which is supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The program has supported 64 research projects from 18 universities across Canada.

CanmetMATERIALS Calgary, located in NRCan’s Geological Survey of Canada facility in the University of Calgary University Research Park, employs scientific and technical personnel in the area of pipeline materials science to sustain more effective collaborations with long-standing partners in the pipeline community in Western Canada. The Calgary team coordinates with other experts relevant to pipeline materials at CanmetMATERIALS Hamilton and makes use of the extensive facilities there. The establishment of  CanmetMATERIALS Calgary makes it possible for advanced-materials expertise to be more readily available to the National Energy Board and to pipeline companies and suppliers who utilize CanmetMATERIALS’s materials science expertise.