We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for Prof Brian Tanner

Tanner, B. K., Wu, H. Z. & Roberts, S. G. (2005). Direct evidence for compressive elastic strain at ground surfaces of nanocomposite ceramics. Applied Physics Letters 86(6): 061909.

Author(s) from Durham


High-resolution grazing incidence x-ray powder diffraction has been used to provide direct evidence for the existence of a uniform compressive strain close to the surface of ground alumina/SiC nanocomposites. No such strain is found in ground surfaces of single-phase alumina or polished surfaces of nanocomposite. The strain in the ground nanocomposite is found to be perpendicular to the grinding direction and disappears on annealing at 1250 °C. Such a compressive stress provides a mechanism for enhancing the strength of the nanocomposite, by opposing any tensile loading tending to open surface flaws. The origin of the stresses probably lies in the enhanced grain boundary strength in the nanocomposite alumina–silicon carbide compared to alumina.


1K. Niihara and A. Nakahira, Ann. Chim.-Sci. Mater. 16, 479 s1991d.
2J. H. Zhao, L. C. Stearns, M. P. Harmer, H. M. Chan, G. A. Miller, and R.
F. Cook, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 76, 503 s1993d.
3C. E. Borsa, S. Jiao, R. I. Todd, and R. J. Brook, J. Microsc. sParisd 177,
305 s1995d.
4R. W. Davidge, P. C. Twigg, and F. L Riley, J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 16, 799
5L. Carroll, M. Sternitzke, and B. Derby, Acta Metall. Mater. 44, 4543
6J. Perez-Rigueiro, J. Y. Pastor, J. Llorca, M. Elices, P. Miranzo, and J. S.
Moya, Acta Mater. 46, 5399 s1998d.
7H. Z. Wu, S. G. Roberts, and B. Derby, Acta Mater. 49, 507 s2001d.
8H. Z. Wu, S. G. Roberts, A. J. Winn, and B. Derby, Mater. Res. Soc.
Symp. Proc. 581, 303 s2000d.
9H. Z. Wu, B. J. Inkson, and S. G. Roberts, J. Microsc. 201, 212 s2001d.
10H. Z. Wu, C. W. Lawrence, S. G. Roberts, and B. Derby, Acta Mater. 46,
3839 s1998d.
11B. K. Tanner, H. Z. Wu, S. G. Roberts, and T. P. A. Hase, Philos. Mag. 84,
1219 s2004d.
12A. N. Fitch, Mater. Sci. Forum 228, 219 s1996d.
13I. Pape, C. W. Lawrence, S. G. Roberts, G. A. D. Briggs, O. V. Kolosov,
A. W. Hey, C. F. Paine, and B. K. Tanner, Philos. Mag. A 80, 1913
14B. K. Tanner, T. P. A. Hase, and H. Z. Wu, Philos. Mag. Lett. 81, 351
15D. B. Marshall, A. G. Evans, B. T. Khuri-Yakub, J. W. Tien, and G. S.
Kino, Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. A 35A, 461 s1983d.
16H. H. K. Xu, L. Wei, and S. Jahanmir, J. Mater. Res. 10, 3204 s1995d.
17H. Kara and S. G. Roberts, J. Mater. Sci. 37, 2421 s2002d.
18A. J. Winn and R. I. Todd, Br. Ceram. Trans. 98, 219 s1999d.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: