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Research centre to develop supermaterials for the aerospace industry


Montreal, QC – The McGill Aerospace Materials and Alloy Development Centre at the NRC Industrial Materials Institute in Boucherville was opened on Friday. A collaborative initiative between National Research Council (NRC) and McGill University, the centre was created to develop a new generation of highly-resistant materials, surface treatments and manufacturing processes designed to meet the extreme requirements of the aerospace industry.

The federal government contributed $4.8 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and NRC; Quebec’s provincial government has provided $3.15 million dollars.

“The joint McGill and NRC aerospace materials research collaboration is a special example of the synergy that exists between two of Canada’s premier research institutions,” said Professor Denis Thrien, vice-principal, research and international relations of McGill University. “[It is] a synergy made possible through the transformative CFI program. This is an excellent model of partnership in R&D among public and academic institutions that will directly benefit advanced education, research, and industry capabilities in Canada’s important aerospace sector.”

The new centre brings together several different laboratories on multiple sites, including the cold spray facilities located at the NRC Industrial Materials Institute. Cold spray technology is of particular interest to the aerospace industry because the materials used in the coatings do not melt and therefore conserve their original properties.

Other laboratories include the electron beam physical vapour deposition and electronic speckle pattern interferometry, which will be located on the McGill University campus. The fourth laboratory, located at the Manufacturing Technology Centre of the NRC Institute for Aerospace Research on the Universit de Montral Campus, will be dedicated to the production of specialized titanium parts using an isothermal forging press.

“Our new centre provides a great opportunity for Canada to take the lead, internationally, in research into high-value materials for aerospace,” said Dr Stephen Yue, McGill’s principal investigator and leader of the team of researchers that won the CFI grant. “Given the considerable industrial activity in aerospace in Quebec, this centre will become a hub to support the regional aerospace materials sector.”