Wherever you are on your business journey, AMCASH provides free, tailored R&D support to help you to adapt, innovate and grow.

We understand that small businesses are battling a number of challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic and lingering uncertainty of Brexit has disrupted supply chains and changed the manufacturing landscape. With new pressures, it has never been more important to stay ahead of the game with high-quality products, manufactured from the best possible, or most appropriate, materials.

Our team has the knowledge to help refine your processes, improve your products, and make the most of cutting-edge technology. That means better outcomes for your business, improved efficiency, and the chance to expand into potential new markets.

  • Minimum 2 days fully funded technical support
  • Expertise in metals, ceramics, plastics, composites
  • Microstructure evaluation, mechanical testing, thermal analysis
  • Modelling and simulation for testing and trialling of new product ideas
  • Collaborative projects with the University of Birmingham

Qualifying West Midlands-based SMEs get access our teams of materials experts, at zero cost.

Support Conditions:

  • Turnover and balance sheet ≤ €50 mill and €43 mill, respectively
  • < 250 employees
  • Located within LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, The Marches and Stoke & Staffordshire
  • State Aid received ≤ €200,000 over previous three years

In order to best address and support the needs and project requirements of the regional SMEs, the project has access to a number of useful equipment for use on AMCASH assist projects, in the following key themed areas:

Microscopy & Characterisation:

  • Jeol and FEI Scanning Electron Miscroscopes (SEM)
  • FEI and Jeol Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM)
  • Dimension 3100 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • UES Robomet3D tomography
  • Nikon H225 X-ray tomography (XRT / CT)
  • FEI Quanta 3D FEG Focused Ion Beam (FIB) SEM
  • FEI Talos 200X Scanning / Transmission microscope (S/T EM)
  • Bruker S2 Ranger X-ray Flourescence (XRF)



  • Powder mixer – Vibro-milling, powder mixing shaker
  • Die pressing facilities
  • Slip casting facilities
  • Freeze drier
  • Powder impregnation capabilities
  • Ovens
  • Box & tube furnaces – up to 1700°C in air, controlled atmosphere up to 1800°C
  • Chemical vapour infiltration (microwave and RF heated)
  • Ceramic cutting - Diamond wire cut, EDM, etc.

Characterization facilities

  • Nano and microparticle characterisation in dispersions
    • Particle size (0.3-10 μm); 12μL sample volume
    • Zeta potential (≥ ± 1000 mV); max. 70 wt% conc
  • Rheometer
  • Mechanical properties: 3-point/4-point flexural strength, fracture toughness, tensile strength, micro &
    Vickers hardness
  • Thermal properties: conductivity, CTE, oxidation, thermo-ablation
  • Electrical properties - Poling machine, D33 tester, Impedance analyser, Vibration energy harvester
    tester system
  • Molecular mass by measuring dynamic light scattering (DLS), electrophoretic light scattering (ELS), and
    static light scattering (SLS)
  • Measurements of particle refractive index; 1.28 - 1.50 ±0.5%; temp range 0 – 90°C

Mechanical Testing:

  • Universal screw-driven testing machines (5 no.)
  • Universal servo-hydraulic testing machines (18 no.)
  • Automatic micro-hardness testing machine
  • Charpy impact machine
  • Amsler Vibrophore testing machines (high frequency:100Hz, 5 no.)

Polymer Science:

  • Mechanical testing - Instron 5566
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry - Mettler DSC1 and FLASH DSC fast scanning chip-calorimeter
  • Infra-red spectroscopy - ThermoNicolet 8700
  • Rheology – Netzsch Kinexus Pro Rheometer, TA Instruments Ares Rheometer
  • DMTA - Polymer Labs/ Netzsch DMTA.
  • Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) - Netzsch
  • Hardness- Shore A durometer

Modelling & Simulation:

  • Academic-licenced CFD and FE commercial software packages.
  • University of Birmingham super-computer, BlueBEAR
  • Data-storage backed-up network drives
  • Micro-epsilon TIM160 Thermal Imaging camera
  • Photron Fastcam Mini UX100 High Speed camera
  • Thermocouple data-logger
  • Micro-Epsilon optoNCDT laser triangulation sensors
  • Infra-red Thermometer

Find out how we can make our R&D expertise work for you.