Professor W Mark Rainforthrainforth.jpg

BMet, PhD, FIMMM, CEng, FInstP, CPhys, FRMS, FREng
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5469
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5943

Address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

After obtaining a 1st Class Honours degree from the University of Sheffield, Mark Rainforth initially followed an industrial career. He later joined the Department from the University of Leeds in 1989 and rapidly established state-of-the-art facilities in electron microscopy and tribology. He is co-author of the book Ceramic Microstructures' with W E Lee, a winner of the Rosenhain Medal of the IoM3 and has recently finished his term as President of the Royal Microscopical Society.

Research interests

His research centres on the high resolution characterisation of microstructures, in particular interfaces and surfaces. His research programmes are broadly based and cover metals, ceramics and coatings:

  • Aberration corrected electron microscopy to determine atomic structure and local bonding state, particularly at interfaces in, for example, nanoscale multilayer coatings or functional ceramics
  • Understanding the dynamic microstructural changes that occur as a result of frictional contact, to thereby develop superior materials, for example, next generation hip arthroplasties
  • Surface degeneration phenomena, such as oxidation of metals (including during hot rolling) and hydrothermal degradation of zirconia ceramics
  • Microstructural evolution during the processing of metals, particularly Ti, Mg and steels, aimed at developing new higher strength materials
  • Designing alloys for resource efficiency

Research group

Dr Michal Krzyzanowski
Dr Joanna Sharp
Dr Amit Rana
Dr Peng Zeng
Dr Le Ma
Dr Akemi Nogiwa Valdez

Paul Nnamchi (Joint with Prof Todd)
E Lizz Cedillo Saucedo* (Joint with Prof Reaney)
Leili Shirkhan*
Jake Corteen (Joint with Prof Todd)
Daryoush Ahmadi*
Alfonce Chamisa* (Joint with Dr Palmiere)
Feng Qian*
Lampros Kurtis (Joint with Prof Todd)
Erfan Abasi*
Mark Todd*
Junheng Goa* (Joint with Prof Todd)
Dikai Guan* (Joint with Prof Todd)
Samira Bostanchi*
Weigang Yang* (Joint with Dr Morley)
Zahra Fard
Peng Gong* (Joint with Dr Palmiere)
Xin Pan*
Itzel Muller*
Haiyun Wang* (Joint with Prof Todd)

*= Principal Supervisor

Key projects

  • Wear mechanisms in metals, ceramics and composites, e.g. metal on metal and ceramic on ceramic hip prosthetics]
  • Mechanisms of high temperature degradation in metals, ceramics and coatings
  • Modern metals processing- design of new ultra high strength steels
  • Nanostructure in functional ceramics
  • Modelling surface evolution during hot rolling and wear
  • Thermomechanical processing of Mg and Ti alloys and steels

Professional activities and recognition

  • President, Royal Microscopical Society, 2006-09
  • Leverhulme/Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow (2007-08)
  • Rosenhain Medal and Pfeil Prize of the IoM3, Bronze Medal and Thomas Stephens Prize of the Tribology Society of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • Scientific Editor, Journal Microscopy
  • Associate Editor, Journal American Ceramics Society
  • Member Board of Review, Materials and Metallurgical Transactions
  • Editorial Board, Materials Science and Technology, and Advances in Applied Ceramics
  • Director Mercury Centre for Innovative Materials and Manufacturing

Key publications

  • A. Nogiwa Valdez, W.M. Rainforth, P. Zeng, I.M. Ross, “Deceleration of hydrothermal degradation of 3Y-TZP by alumina and lanthana co-doping”, Acta Biomaterialia, 9 (2013) 6226-6235.
  • P. Zeng, B. Inkson, W. M. Rainforth, “Characterisation of the damage accumulation mechanisms during in-vitro testing of alumina on alumina hip prosthetics”, Acta Materialia, 60(1) (2012) 2061–2072
  • W.M. Rainforth, P. Zeng, L. Ma, A. Nogiwa Valdez and T. Stewart, “Dynamic surface microstructural changes during tribological contact that determine the wear behaviour of hip prostheses; metals and ceramics”, Faraday Discussions; Proceedings of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 156 (2012), 41–57.
  • L. Ma, WM Rainforth, The effect of lubrication on the friction and wear of Biolox® delta, Acta Biomaterialia, 8 (2012) 2348–2359.
  • P. Zeng, W. M. Rainforth, B. Inkson, T.D. Stewart, “Characterization of worn alumina hip replacement prostheses” Journal Biomedical Materials Research-Part B, Applied Biomaterials 100(1) (2012) 121-132
  • M.M.Z. Ahmed, B.P. Wynne, W.M. Rainforth, P.l. Threadgill, “Through-thickness crystallographic texture of stationary shoulder friction stir welded aluminium” Scripta Materialia, 64(1) (2011) 45-48
  • Z. Zhou, W.M. Rainforth, M. H. Gass, A. Bleloch, A.P. Ehiassarian, & P.E. Hovsepian, C/CrC nanocomposite coating deposited by magnetron sputtering at high ion irradiation conditions. J Appl Phys, 110(7) (2011) 073301
  • C Rodenburg, X Liu, MAE Jepson, Z Zhou, WM Rainforth & JM Rodenburg, Ultramicroscopy, 110(9) (2010) 1178-1184.
  • Z. Zhou, W.M. Rainforth, Q. Luo, P.Eh. Hovsepian, J. J. Ojeda, M. E. Romero-Gonzalez, “Wear and friction of TiAlN/VN coatings against Al2O3 in air at room and elevated temperatures”, Acta Materialia, 58[8] (2010) 2912-2925.
  • J. Rodriguez, A. Rico, E. Otero, W.M. Rainforth “Indentation Properties of Plasma Sprayed Al2O3–13% TiO2 Nanocoatings”, Acta Materialia 57 (2009) 3148–3156.
  • M. Krzyzanowski, W.M. Rainforth, “Application of Combined Discrete/Finite Element Multiscale Method for Modelling of Mg Redistribution During Hot Rolling of Aluminium” Computer Methods in Materials Science, 9 (2009) 271-276.
  • Z. Zhou, W.M. Rainforth, U. Falke, M. Falke, A. Bleloch & P. Hovsepian, On the structure and composition of nanoscale TiAlN/VN multilayers, Phil. Mag. A., 87(2), (2007), 967-978.
  • C. Rodenburg and W.M. Rainforth, A quantitative analysis of the influence of carbides size distributions on wear behaviour of high speed steel in dry rolling/sliding contact, Acta Materialia, 55(7), (2007), 2443-2454.
  • G. Angella, B.P. Wynne, W.M. Rainforth and J.H. Beynon, Microstructure Evolution of AISI 316L in Torsion at High Temperature, Acta Materialia, 53, (2005), 1263-1275.
  • W.M. Rainforth, Recent Developments in the Microscopy of Ceramics, Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics, Ed. P. W. Hawkes, Vol. 132, (2004), 167-246.
  • W.M. Rainforth, M.P. Black, R.L. Higginson, E.J. Palmiere, C.M. Sellars, I. Pabst, P. Warbichler and F. Hofer, Precipitation of NbC in a Model Austenitic Steel Acta Materialia, 50, (2002), 735-747.
  • O. Barceinas-Sanchez and W.M. Rainforth, On the Role of Plastic Deformation During the Mild Wear of Alumina, Acta Materialia, 46, (1998), 6475-6483.