Dr Nicola Symonds

Unit Head


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Cryogenic Testing

Understand how your material, component or product performs at very low temperatures

We offer access to leading cryogenics expertise and facilities through the University of Southampton Cryogenic Services (UoSCS). This specialist unit draws on more than 45 years of knowledge generation and industry engagement, working with corporations and institutions such as Siemens, Shell and CERN.

By tapping into the UoSCS’s capabilities you’ll gain the data you need to support your R&D. Whether you are seeking to unlock an extension of a material’s performance, gain efficiencies in a process or system, or extend a product’s use into a lower temperature range, our testing can give you the answers you need to move your project forward.

Our cryogenic testing services

With our colleagues at UoSCS, we will work with you to understand your requirements and design a bespoke test package to extract the data you need. The UoSCS’s highly flexible lab includes a commercial system alongside a range of ‘plug and play’ equipment, enabling a range of combinations that we can tailor to your project.

Capabilities include:

  • mechanical testing to minus 253°C (20 K)
  • thermal-based testing (exploring the thermal properties of any type of material) down to minus 269°C (4 K)
Dr Benjamin Cunningham and Dr Ilaria Corni in the lab; Ilaria is pouring ultra-cold liquid into a vessel while Ben records measurements

Dr Benjamin Cunningham and Dr Ilaria Corni in the cryogenics lab

We can test the following:

  • materials – including metals, polymers, ceramics, structured composites – to provide data on their properties and behaviour
  • components and systems – to understand their performance and enable you to optimise them for a low-temperature environment

Other services include:

  • adapting standard tests to low temperatures, to provide reliable, repeatable data that you can use in follow-up experiments or modelling
  • working with external parties such as Lloyd’s Register to validate our results, giving you the confidence to progress your project
  • bespoke tests where we can design and manage the fabrication, assembly and validation of purpose-built test set-ups

Liquid oxygen

  • In partnership with nC² we can offer companies our leading expertise in cryogenics, with tailored test set-ups for your project and robust data analysis.

    Dr Wendell Bailey, University of Southampton Cryogenic Services

Meet our cryogenics experts

Dr Ilaria Corni is the first point of contact for cryogenic testing projects. She will work with you understand your requirements and facilitate a tailored test package that meets your needs. Find out more about Ilaria.

Contact Ilaria to discuss your requirements

Dr Wendell Bailey, who heads up the University of Southampton Cryogenic Services, is our cryogenic testing specialist. Having been involved in cryogenics research since 2002, and with more than 200 industry consultancy projects under his belt, Wendell draws from a wealth of experience in test design, delivery and analysis. Find out more about Wendell.

In addition, Dr Benjamin Cunningham brings his mechanical testing knowledge to support low-temperature mechanical test packages.

Dr Benjamin Cunningham, Dr Wendell Bailey and Dr Ilaria Corni

Our cryo team: Dr Benjamin Cunningham, Dr Wendell Bailey and Dr Ilaria Corni

What we offer

  • Free initial consultation and bespoke quote, which may include free practice tests to determine the best test plan – if you’re not sure exactly what you need, we can advise you.
  • A choice of packages to suit your requirements.
  • Tests tailored to your needs, run by specialist staff in our state-of-the-art labs.
  • A comprehensive report including results and expert advice, plus a meeting to discuss the results.

Why choose nC2?

  • An investigation, testing and analysis service of the highest quality.
  • Access to specialised facilities and knowledge across the University of Southampton.
  • Packages to suit your budget and requirements – whether you’re looking for a one-off test or support for a major project.
  • Excellent customer service – we’ll keep you in the loop every step of the way.
  • High levels of customer satisfaction.