"UK's largest independent UV weather testing facility"

+44 (0)2380 580240

Company Overveiw

Materials Technology Limited is an independent, privately owned, materials Rushington Courtconsultancy company. We have been in operation for 30 years and were originally formed in 1979 by our founder Derek Bates under the name of DRB Consulting. Shortly after, the name of the company then became DRB Materials Technology to reflect the wide scope of materials that the company was dealing with. In 2006 the company acquired the operating interests of Bayworth Plastics & Rubber and took the opportunity to update the company name, logo and structure to become Materials Technology Ltd. In 2007 Materials Technology Ltd acquired a brand new purpose designed building to accommodate its expanding facilities and moved from its location in the New Forest (IRC house) to its new facilities located on the edge of Southampton (Rushington Business Park). The new facilities contain an on site laboratory for rapid turn around of work. We serve a broad range of clients and industries and no task is too big or too small for us. From litigation work on individual cases to R&D programs for large multinationals. Approximately 70% of work is for UK based clients and 30% is for international clients. We also work closely with and have contracts with other laboratories and hence can offer a one stop facility. If we are unable to assist you we will do our best to find someone else who can. Our overall aim is to provide you with cost effective, high quality solutions to your materials problems.

Back To Top

What Our Clients Say

What our clients say about our work is the best recommendation that we can provide. We have a large base of clients that have continued to use us over our 30 year history. Below you will find a selection of commendations from our clients. We are more than happy to provide you with a specific client reference before commencing any work for you. "Thank you for the excellent work finding a current supplier of the original material with identical properties." "Thank you for the report, I like the way you have carried out the investigation and the presentation." "Many thanks for all your hard work for us on this project." "Thank you very much for the copy of the draft report. I have just read through it, and have not found any errors. (I normally spot spelling errors!)" "It looks a very thorough and comprehensive report, and I am very pleased with the outcome." "Thank you for all your assistance with this investigation." "Thank you for this detailed methodical report, I think it is impressive and demonstrates skill and patience with the dissassembly and logging." "An excellent report - many thanks. "

Back To Top

Our Staff

Materials Technology's staff are qualified materials engineers and include experts in metallurgy, plastics & rubber, cable & wire, polymer formulation, welding & corrosion. Our reputation is underlined by the number and variety of projects with which our staff have been involved in over the last thirty years of research. We teach and lecture regularly on all aspects of materials science at companies and professional bodies. See more about our training options under the services tab. We have four full time staff and 3 part time staff.

Justin Bates BSc (Hons), IEng - Managing Director

Justin is Managing Director of Materials Technology. He obtained his Chemistry degree from Brunel University and has post graduate training in materials engineering and materials science. He has worked extensively in the mineral and chemical industry working for companies such as Omya and Pirelli in the field of product development. He is a leading forensic engineer and works extensively for the police services in accident investigation and bulb analysis. He has been an expert witness for over 12 years in many investigations. He is a member of the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigation and the Institute of Materials. He also has significant experience of the chemical industry, corrosion and metallurgical failures.

Nicholas Kenworthy - Technical Director

Nick Kenworthy has over 25 years experience in the polymer industry. He gained his polymer degree at the prestigious London School of Polymer Technology (LSPT) and subsequently his post graduate diploma in Polymer Science from the University of North London. In previous roles he was Technical Manager for Materials and Product Development at the large multi national cable and tyre giant Pirelli. During his many years in this role he was responsible for implmenting a range of cutting edge technologies and material developments. He was responsible for the development of their brand leading fire performance products (FP200, FP200 Gold, FP PLus) and a wide range of their novel materials including the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation low smoke zero halogen range. He was managing director of Bayworth Plastics & Rubber, a polymer consulting company, until 2005 when he joined Materials Technology Limited.

Derek R Bates - Marketing Director

Derek is Marketing Director and the company metallurgist. He has worked extensively througout his career for the petrochem industry in the field of corrosion and metallurgy and has worked for Esso, British Oxygen and Deloro Stellite for a significant part of his career. Throughout his career he has been involved in materials selection, failure investigation, avoidance and development of new materials. He is experienced in welding technology and the development of welding electrodes, corrosion and corrosion inspection. Derek as been an expert witness in many litigation and insurance cases. He lectures extensively to people in these fields and also helps Lawyers and Insurance companies learn from past failures with his "Learning from Failures" lecture. Derek is a qualified engineer (Eur Ing, CEng) and member of the following institues: MIM, MWeldI, MICorr S&T, FRSA.

Back To Top

Our Facilities

Operating out of a recently constructed business park on the edge of Southampton, Materials Technology Ltd. own a unit offering modern and spacious offices in conjunction with a tidy and well-equipped laboratory. We operate a range of testing machines capable of performing a variety of tests in house offering the customer a quick, effective & high quality service. Some of our facilities include:

  • Accelerated UV Weathering (Fluorescent & Xenon Arc Lamp)
  • Salt Spray & Corrosion Simulation
  • Chambers and Ageing Ovens
  • Optical and Digital Microscopy
  • Metallographic Polishing and Preparation
  • Chemical Analysis
  • SEM Microscopy and EDAX
  • Tensile Testing (from small to very large)
  • A Machine Shop, allowing for the construction of small rigs and prototypes
  • In addition we have contracts with other labortories to provide services that we don't have on site, hence we can provide a one stop service . Learn more about some of these testing methods under our services section on this website.
Back To Top

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long will my analysis take?

The leadtime for your work will depend on the exact nature of your problem and the amount of analysis required. In general we aim to have a written response to you within 10 working days. In urgent cases we can respond quicker but this will need to be discussed with us at the time of making the request.

How much will it cost?

t is not possible to give general costs as every analysis and customer requirements are slightly different. We will always provide you with a quotation for the required work before commencing any analysis. We often try to provide you with a step wise, systematic approach to any analysis so that you can control any costs and get the answers that you require with the minimum expenditure. We generally quote on a job basis rather than a daily basis but you can hire us by the day or half day if it suits your requirements.

Do you charge for initial consultations?

We dont charge for initial consultations and will always confirm any pricing in writing. If we need to travel to your site at your request we may need to charge for travel miles. Our current rates for this are Inland Revenue rates of £0.40/mile.

Can we see your facilities?

Customers are always welcome to inspect our facilities or drop by for discussions about their problems. If you have materials that you are unsure about then please bring them along and we can discuss any issues in detail.

Will I get an answer or just results that I dont understand?

We always try to provide you with a root cause, conclusions, solutions or recommendations regarding your problem. As a customer we realise that you want the solution rather than just the results. Many labs often provide complex analysis and results that mean nothing to their customers. Often they are not prepared to make a definitive suggestion. We know how frustrating this can be and will always try to give you a difinitive statement. We are used to standing up in court and standing by our opinions!

Can you conduct research work for me?

Yes we carry out a lot of research programmes for companies that either dont have the in house expertise or the time to conduct the work themselves. We act as an independent research group or we can collaborate with customers in house teams. We have worked for a number of large multi nationals to develop their new products, test their prototypes to destruction or select new materials at the design stage. Programmes of work can be small or large.

Do you do on site visits or inspections?

Yes. Formal visits or inspections are chargeable on the basis of the work required. We visit sites both in the UK and Internationally.

What's the best way to get samples to you?

Most clients will send samples by TNT or similar courier. However, in the case of dangerous materials it is the clients responsibility to insure that they comply with the relevant transport and packaging regulations. Ask us if you need advice. You are also welcome to drop samples in person. Equally we can take samples at your site as part of inspection work. Please note that very large or heavy samples need to be agreed first. We have a general limit of 450Kgs on most samples.

Will I get my samples back?

Failure analysis samples will generally be retained for a period of 3 months unless you specify otherwise or they are involved in a litigation case. At the end of this period we will scrap them. Most other samples are returned to you on completion of the work or for your own observation or testing.

Will my samples be destroyed in testing?

We use a combination of non destructive test methods (NDT) and destructive. We will normally tell you when you sample will be destroyed in testing. Most mechanical testing, metallographic preparation and SEM analysis will require destruction of your sample but failed regions can be retained. Let us know if you need to keep your product in tact.

Whats the difference between "Expert Witness" and "Single Joint Expert"?

An expert witness is usually employed by one party in a court case. Whilst they may be employed and paid for by the plaintiff or defendent their primary responsibility is to the court and the law. A single joint expert can be employed by both parties to review the evidence and cast opinion for both parties. Once again their primary responsibility is to the court rather than any party. However, in this case the costs are divided equally among both parties. In the case of single joint expert all communication must go to both parties and be recieved by both parties at the same time. Individual discussions are not permitted.

Are there any materials that you dont deal with?

Generally we have expertise across the whole range of materials from metals and ceramics to plastics and rubbers. However, we are not capable of handling any radioactive materials, human biological specimens or highly toxic substances.

Do I get a report or test certificate on completion of my work?

Most of our work is backed by a full technical report. This is normally sent to you as a PDF document in draft format for your approval or any additions. Once you are happy with the report we will issue it as a final version. We do not send hard copies as standard as most clients do not require this. However, in court cases or police work signed hard copies will be provided upon request. Individual test certificates can also be supplied as part of specific test work.

How long do you hold my files for?

We generally hold most files for a minimum period of 5 years and can quickly access this information by your job reference number. After this period information is archived but can still be retrieved should the need arise.

Who owns the information in my report?

All information that we provide is copyrighted as Materials Technology Ltd until such time that your bill is paid in full. On settlement of the clients bill in full the ownership of the information rests with the client

Will you discuss my information with anyone else?

All of our clients information is confidential and will not be dicussed with third parties unless previously approved by the client. We are willing to sign confidentiality agreements or can supply you with a copy of our standard non disclosure agreements.

Back To Top

© Materials Technology Limited, Registered in England & Wales No. 05764619, Contact +44(0)2380 580240