CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada


(Hamilton, Ontario)

Natural Resources Canada's CanmetMATERIALS is Canada’s principal federal research and development laboratory for metals research, including materials for use in automotive applications, clean energy including nuclear power generation, major infrastructure such as pipelines, defence and eco-materials. CanmetMATERIALS is well known for its pilot-scale facilities for metallurgy, supporting innovation in steel, aluminum, magnesium and other metals, alloys and composite materials for nearly 70 years.

Types of R&D conducted

Advanced Materials for Transportation

  • Developing the advanced materials, processes and fabrication techniques required to significantly reduce the weight of the next generation of vehicles
  • Specific areas of research include automotive structural assemblies, body and chassis components, powertrain materials and surface transportation systems

Materials for Pipeline Integrity

  • At its facilities in Hamilton and satellite lab in Calgary, Alberta, CanmetMATERIALS assesses the strength, fracture, and corrosion properties of the advanced steels and other materials that are planned for use in pipelines, including the technology for field welding, to the extent that these control pipeline integrity and long-term reliable performance
  • Specific areas of research include frontier energy pipelines, reliability of new and existing energy pipelines, pipelines for hydrogen, carbon dioxide and biofuels, and pipeline security and integrity monitoring

Materials for Nuclear and Conventional Energy

  • Developing innovative solutions to the materials challenges in designing next-generation nuclear reactors
  • Supporting Canada’s leading-edge nuclear technology for existing reactors

Emerging Materials

  • Addressing materials issues for defence and aerospace applications
  • Developing hybrid materials with strong structural and functional performance
  • Optimizing existing recycling processes and developing new materials recycling technologies to reduce the quantity of material being discarded
  • Developing nanotechnology-based titanium dioxide photocatalyst materials and processes that break down air pollutants and criteria air contaminants and capture carbon dioxide emissions
  • Developing higher-efficiency thermoelectric materials that recover waste heat
  • Developing highly corrosion-resistant materials for condensing heat exchangers


In collaboration with industry, CanmetMATERIALS develops and deploys technologies to improve all aspects of producing and using value-added products from minerals and metals. Specifically, CanmetMATERIALS focuses on research related to metal processing (casting, forming, joining, advanced materials, and prototype development), and maintains in-depth competencies for materials assessment (microstructural characterization, corrosion, physical and mechanical testing) to:

  • achieve higher performance from metal alloys and metal- or mineral-based materials for a wide range of end-use applications
  • develop advanced materials for next-generation vehicles
  • improve the reliability of Canada’s energy infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines and nuclear power generation systems
  • develop specialized materials for current and future industrial systems to help Canadian companies use energy efficiently and reduce air emissions and waste
  • provide sound technical input to standards and codes development
  • promote innovation and enhance the competitiveness of Canada’s value-added and related product industries
  • assist Canadian firms to use more efficient production techniques, resulting in energy and cost savings

CanmetMATERIALS houses the Government of Canada’s Non-Destructive Testing Certifying Agency, a key service that has been in existence for over 50 years.

Partners and collaboration opportunities

Over 90% of CanmetMATERIALS’s research activities are undertaken in collaboration with partners across Canada and internationally in four main program areas: Advanced Materials for Transportation, Materials for Pipeline Integrity, Materials for Nuclear and Conventional Energy and Emerging Materials.

Mechanisms available:

  • Collaborative R&D Agreements
  • Task-sharing Agreements
  • Memoranda of Understanding
  • Consortia Agreements

The Academic Access Program is one of only two NSERC-funded programs in federal laboratories. It enables university researchers to work with CanmetMATERIALS researchers to access unique pilot-scale facilities for producing and studying a variety of materials.

“As a Technical Program Manager for the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), I have had the opportunity to work with CanmetMATERIALS over a period of several years in research areas of mutual interest to the automotive industry. The variety and breadth of the lab’s research facilities and equipment and the expertise of its staff are impressive. Under the umbrella of the Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue, ORNL and CanmetMATERIALS have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate increased collaboration, which will undoubtedly lead to the successful development of technologies of importance to industrial partners in Canada and the United States.”

-- Philip S. Sklad, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Technical Program Manager (retired) for the U.S. Department of Energy Lightweight Materials Program

Unique or high-value hardware and/or software

  • Metal Casting Laboratory
    • Melting of non-ferrous (Al, Mg, Cuand Zn) and ferrous (cast irons, steels) materials
    • Air- and vacuum-induction melting
    • Sand and permanent mould casting
    • Melt processing (degassing, alloy additions, composition check)
    • Solidification monitoring (cooling curve analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dilatometer)
  • Twin Roll Casting for production of magnesium strip
  • Rolling Mill
    • Hot rolling for steels
    • Cold rolling
    • Two- or four-high configuration
  • Metal Powder Injection Moulding
  • High-Temperature/High-Pressure H2S Laboratory
  • Thermo-mechanical Simulation
    • Gleeble 3500 with Hydrawedge®
  • Dilatometer with torsion attachment
  • Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Full-Scale Pipe Testing
    • To measure SCC colonies on full pipe lengths in laboratory environments
  • Electron Microscopes
    • Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Wavelength-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (WDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)
    • Field Emission Focused Ion Beam Microscope with EDS, EBSD, in situ lift out, gas injectors, charge neutralization and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) detector
    • 200 kV Field Emission Transmission Electron Microscope with EDS and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)
  • Computational materials science and multi-physics simulation methods such as quantum mechanics with density functional theory, molecular dynamics, mesoscale microstructural modelling and multi-physics finite element and computational fluid dynamics


Mr. Hitesh Jain
Business and Contracts Manager
CanmetMATERIALS Technology Laboratory
Minerals and Metals Sector
Natural Resources Canada
83 Longwood Road South, Office 213B
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 0A5
Tel.: 905-645-0699
Fax: 905-645-0831

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