About Micro Materials
Celebrating 25 years experience
In 2013 Micro Materials Ltd is celebrating 25 years within the nanomechanical industry. Established in 1988 Micro Materials has continually been at the forefront of innovation, with our pioneering approach leading to three world firsts
- The first commercial nanoscale impact tester, for erosive wear, toughness and contact fatigue.
- The first commercial high temperature nanoindentation stage, capable of reaching temperatures up to 750°C.
- The first liquid cell, allowing the testing of samples which are fully immersed in a fluid.
We provide innovative, versatile nanomechanical test instrumentation, and respond to developments in applications in response to customer and market requirements. The integrity, reliability and accuracy of our equipment is paramount, as is our relationship with our users.
In 1988, Dr Jim Smith left his position as Manager of Engineering Physics at Eaton Corporation in Boston to develop the MML NanoTest®. The basis of this instrument was research carried out at Lancaster University, UK. The company was sold to Millbrook Scientific Instruments PLC in 2004, who were listed on the AIM market of the UK stock exchange. In July 2010 MML returned to private ownership following its sale to David Harding, a long term Millbrook shareholder who saw great potential in MML’s unique technology.
The headquarters of MML are located in Wrexham, in the north west region of the UK. All research and manufacturing is carried out from their custom-built facility, which is equipped with a demonstration suite. The company have many support bases outside of the UK, including the US, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, India and Korea.
MML are proud to work with a long-established network of global distributors. Many of these distributors have worked with MML for 10 years or more, and have excellent technical knowledge of the system.
Existing customer base
MML have over 300 systems worldwide, with many centres having multiple systems. MML have worked with the most prestigious groups in academic and industrial research, including Cambridge University, MIT, Oxford University, SIMTech, GM, Siemens and many more. MML endeavour to establish close collaborative links with our customers, which allows the company to respond quickly to market requirements and emerging research areas.
Evolution of the NanoTest system
The first NanoTest was sold in 1992 to a group in Paris. Since then many generations of instrument have developed, including the NanoTest 300, NanoTest 550 and NanoTest 600. In 2006 the NanoTest NTX was released, which saw a large improvement in system performance and stability. The NanoTest Vantage, released in June 2011, represents provides the user with a simplified, high performance, modern instrument, designed to be easy to use yet flexible to allow high level experiment design.
For over 20 years, Micro Materials (MML) has been a leading international innovator in the highly specialised world of nanomechanical testing – constantly developing and refining equipment that has consistently set new benchmarks for performance and adaptability.
The NanoTest Vantage continues that tradition of innovation and functionality. We recognise that laboratory equipment has to constantly justify its outlay, and so we design equipment that is not only robust, reliable and highly accurate, but which also performs a wide range of roles. This flexibility continues to set the NanoTest apart from other systems on the market.
Improvements brought by the NanoTest Vantage have focussed on four key areas: improved ease of use; increased speed of set up, calibration and training; improved system performance; and system robustness. High turnover of users is often a reality in a research setting, meaning that instruments must be easy to understand and use. This is fully addressed by the Vantage.
MML focus on listening to their customers and helping them develop solutions that they require in order to push the boundaries of nanomechanical testing. They aim to maintain an imaginative development programme to offer the market something unique. They always aim to provide the customer with first class service, wishing to foster a user community rather than just grow a user base.
The MML staff group consists of physicists, mechanical engineers, materials scientists and chemists, together with administration and finance teams. Staff turnover is extremely low, ensuring continuity of quality in processes and instruments.