Materials Characterisation 2017

8th International Conference on Computational Methods and Experiments in Material and Contact Characterisation


21 - 23 June, 2017
Tallinn, Estonia


The 8th International Conference on Computational Methods and Experiments in Materials Characterisation took place in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference was organised by the Wessex Institute, represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia, and sponsored by Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, the University of Windsor, Canada and the University of Groningen, Netherlands, represented, respectively, by Prof Toomas Rang, Prof Derek Northwood and Prof Jeff De Hosson.

The meeting takes place every two years and has always been successfully received since the series was launched in 2003 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The conference continues to attract outstanding contributions in a variety of topics related to materials characterisation.

Among the topics covered in the 2017 conference were: surface treatment and characterisation, with studies on coating processes, the effects of morphology, exposure resulting in corrosion and degradation, and modelling for the prediction of coating failures; microstructural investigations concerned with the effects of treatment processes, residual stresses, and characterisation of deformation under fatigue and impact; macro-mechanical studies on metal plasticity, aggregate properties of damaged solids, experimental measurement of contact pressure, damage detection methods, polymer waste and adhesion performance; biomaterials including relevant characterisation methods, surface treatment, experimentation and modelling as well as tissue engineering.

Composites were extensively covered with special sessions dedicated to nanocomposites and nanofibres as well as advances in automotive applications; other issues such as interfacial shear strength, mechanical testing in flexure and green composites were also addressed.

The conference also included papers on properties of materials used in electrical components such as superconductors and diodes.

Opening the Conference

The meeting was opened on behalf of Prof Brebbia, who was, regrettably unable to attend due to medical reasons, by Dr Stavros Syngellakis, a professor at the Wessex Institute and member of its Board of Directors. After welcoming the delegates to the Conference, Stavros presented an overview of WIT's past and present research and development activities.

WIT, Stavros said, is an organisation dedicated to the transfer of knowledge at international level. This is achieved in different ways, such as joint research projects. In the past WIT has collaborated in a wide range of topics from offshore structures to bioengineering. Many of these projects were supported by EU and other Foundation grants, some by collaborating with defence organisations in other countries, as well as industries such as aerospace and hydrodynamics. The variety of projects is just one of the unique aspects of WIT in the creation and development of computational tools, which can be specialised to study many types of problems.

WIT, Stavros explained, is renowned throughout the world for having given origin to the Boundary Element Method. This development dates from 1978 when the first conference and the first book on the topic were launched at Southampton University. With the creation of WIT in 1986 the BEM research group moved to its current New Forest Campus, where the activities continue and result in an increasing number of applications for BEM.

Another important activity at Ashurst Lodge campus is the publication of scientific and technical material, involving not only books but the archiving and distribution of all conference and journal papers in Open Access format (see This new initiative, as well as the archiving of all papers in different databases, has resulted in an increasing number of citations for WIT conference and journal papers.

WIT believes that it is necessary for the international scientific community to continue developing and launching new publications independent of the major commercial publishing houses. With this in mind WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute, has now eight International Journals in a variety of fields. The most relevant to this meeting is that on Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements which has proved very successful since its launch in 2013. Stavros also mentioned the WIT Transactions in three major areas of science and technology and, in particular, to those on Engineering Science, which are relevant to the meeting. The Journal and the Transactions, as the Conference, bring together contributions from scientists and engineers from all over the world dealing with different methods and processes for characterising a wide range of materials.

Finally, Stavros referred to the importance of the Conference series in terms of bringing people together and creating networks. The programme that has been running for a long time – one of our Conferences is now in its 40th annual version – continues to attract high quality contributions and generate strong and permanent links amongst the participants.

Stavros concluded his remarks by once again thanking the delegates and the co-organisers of the Conference for their contribution to its success. He also hoped that the delegates would have an opportunity to visit some of the many sights of Tallinn, a city with a long history, medieval architecture, old churches, fortresses, palaces, open green spaces, museums and other places of interest.

Prof Derek Northwood addressed the conference briefly highlighting the importance of the meeting and its evolution since inception. He expressed the wish of the participants for Carlos's quick recovery and presence.

Prof Toomas Rang welcomed the delegates to Tallinn expressing the hope that they would find the time to enjoy its attractions. He then gave a brief account of the success of his group at the University to attract funding and thus retain a level of high quality research. Toomas concluded his remarks by wishing the delegates a successful conference.

Invited Presentations

The conference programme comprised a series of invited presentations delivered by well-known colleagues, ie:

• “Roughness and its influence on corrosion”, by Derek Northwood, University of Windsor, Canada.
• “Surface degradation of nanocrystalline Zirconia dental implants”, by Vaclav Ocelík, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
• “Experimental determination and theoretical analysis of local residual stress at grain scale”, by Indranil Basu, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
• “Predictive and prognostic modelling and simulation of coating failures due to corrosion and mechanical failures”, by Zulfiqar Khan, University of Bournemouth, UK.
• “Interfacial shear strength of resin particles added carbon fiber/maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene under hot-wet environment”, by Hideaki Katogi, Kanagawa University, Japan.
• “Characterization of a fibre-reinforced self-compacting concrete with 100% of mixed recycled aggregates", by José Ortiz-Lozano, Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico.
• “Hard yet tough high vanadium high speed steel composite coating in-situ alloyed on ductile iron by atmospheric plasma arc", by Yutao Pei, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
• “Structural modification of cellulose nanocomposites by stretching" by Hitoshi Takagi, Tokushima University, Japan.
• “Weld zone material characterisation based on spherical indentation data", by Stavros Syngellakis, Wessex Institute, UK.
• “Effect of prior martensite on mechanical properties of austempered ductile iron", by Derek Northwood, University of Windsor, Canada.
• “Study of the interface and durability of the adhesion between photovoltaic cells and concrete-based façade panels", by Matthieu Horgnies, LafargeHolcim R&D, France.

Conference Topics

The other presentations were classified in a series of conference topics, as follows:

• Surface modification and treatments
• Biomaterials
• Advances in composites
• Mechanical characterisation and testing
• Fatigue and failure
• Micro and macro materials characterisation
• Materials under extreme conditions
• Experimental measurement techniques

The Conference provided many occasions for the delegates to interchange views and create new networks. There were interesting discussions during the sessions followed by exchanges at coffee and lunch breaks. In this regard Materials Characterisation/17, as all other conferences in the series, was characterised by its friendliness and goodwill among the delegates.

Conference Dinner

The conference banquet took place in Ribe, an elegant restaurant with dishes made with fresh, seasonal, domestic ingredients, located within Tallinn's historical centre. Carlos's absence was strongly felt and the dinner started with a toast to his health. The excellent dinner, consisting of three courses brilliantly matched by local wines, helped to create a convivial atmosphere among the participants.

ISAC Dinner

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met informally for a thank-you dinner also at Ribe. Stavros conveyed to members OF the Committee Prof Brebbia's appreciation and gratitude for their contribution to the success of the conference, which rested with the quality of the papers and the friendly atmosphere amongst delegates. There was a general expectation that the meeting will be reconvened in 2019 and Stavros invited views from the ISAC members on its scope and organisation which he would take for consideration to the Conference Organising Committee.

Closing the Conference

The Conference was closed by Derek Northwood and Stavros Syngellakis, who in their name and on behalf of Carlos Brebbia thanked the delegates for their participation, wished them a safe journey home and expressed the hope that they will continue to support future meetings on the same or similar themes organised by WIT.

Related Conference 

SUSI 2018, 4 - 6 June, 2018, Seville, Spain
AFM 2018, 10 - 12 July, 2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia
HPSM 2018, 11 - 13 July, 2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Materials Characterisation 2017 Photos