Centre for Infrastructure Materials

Centre for Infrastructure Materials

The Centre for Infrastructure Materials at the University of Leeds will provide a networked suite of facilities to research the ageing and deterioration of a whole suite of infrastructure materials.

Advanced materials science, which provides a robust understanding of the performance of commonly used and innovative new materials, helps the construction industry to create more efficient, resilient and effective new structures. These will address the challenges presented by increasing resource scarcity, a changing climate and zero carbon goals. 

The facilities include a range of lab-scale exposure facilities, coupled with large-scale environmental chambers and state-of-the-art characterisation techniques. These facilities will allow accelerated ageing of common and novel materials under a range of simulated environments, and ground energy research. The Centre will also include a field exposure site with full meteorological monitoring for the long-term exposure of materials. In addition, a large-scale geo-energy facility is to be installed, enabling real-time monitoring of ground source heat pumps and heat exchangers.

The evidence generated will ultimately lead to an improvement in whole-life infrastructure material performance and the development of innovative materials to reduce material use, monetary and energy (carbon) costs and maintenance requirements. 

The Centre for Infrastructure Materials is due to launch in a new building in early 2022. However, much of its equipment is already available for use in the School of Civil Engineering and will be relocated to the Centre once it is built.


Who can use the facility Functions/facilities available

Industry (research and consultancy)

All equipment

PhD Studentships, Fellowships

and MSc (Leeds)

All equipment; study space

Academic researchers

(research and consultancy)

All equipment


Facility Highlights

  • £19.8m investment
  • In-situ monitoring of structural dynamics, including digital image correlation equipment to allow monitoring of movement in infrastructure in real time
  • Zeiss XRadia 410 Versa for x-ray tomography, fitted with a loading stage and environmental cell for 3D understanding of microstructural changes as a function of ageing
  • Zeiss EVO LS15 for low vacuum imaging of materials for understanding microstructural material changes as a function of ageing
  • Accelerated ageing chambers
    - controlled temperature and humidity cabinets (covering 10 to 95% RH and -30 to 120 degrees C)
    - UV exposure cabinets (coupled with control of temperature and humidity)
    - Corrosion cabinets (with capabilities for exposing samples to corrosive gases also)

Find out more

Visit site

Contact Professor Leon Black, 

Watch the Centre for Infrastructure Materials presentation or download the slides as a PDF.