Research objectives and content In many areas of engineering, it is necessary to reliably measure the mechanical properties of materials of which there is little quantity available. Typically, the geometry and size of the volume of raw material available does not allow the mac of specimens which satisfy the limits for minimum size and optimum geometry recommended by recognised testing standards. Small specimen testing, however, is prone to undesirable experimental artefacts such as excessive end-effects, non-ideal clamping, errors in load application and inaccurate displacement/strain measurements. The work involved in this project is to develop a new approach for the mechanical (punch and bulge) testing of small specimens and concerns the realisation of a novel compact, self-contained test apparatus incorporating components for optical metrology. The non-contact, full-field optical measurement techniques employed will greatly improve the quality of mechanical test and avoid the reliance on simple load-deflection data. A sensitivity analysis of experimental parameters will be developed, employing numerical (i.e. finite element) and theoretical methods, to assist in the design process. The approach will be demonstrated by testing particular materials of interest, namely, candidate alloys for reactor applications and natural synthetic biomaterials Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) The requested training will give the candidate the opportunity to build on the experience and knowledge gained from the initial 24 month training period. The project proposed will support the candidate in exploiting the results of the work carried out during the initial grant through the realisation of a working device based on new technologies relevant to indiustry. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) A number of companies developing materials testing machines heve already been contacted regarding the work proposed. It is hoped that the completion of the project, third-party support will have been found for the development of an improved industrial prototype. Since action already has been taken to protect the intellectual property rights associated with this proposal, efforts will be made to enter into licensing agreements as soon as possible.