On a general point of view, SPCTS researches are focused on the study of the transformations of matter that occur during ceramic processes and surface treatments. The SPCTS activity is hence at the crossroad between materials science and process engineering. It requires a multidisciplinary approach that aims to understand, characterize, control and model all the different processing stages necessary to obtain an object exhibiting one or several optimized properties for a given application. Another objective, supported by the understanding of fundamental mechanisms, is the development of innovative processes in order to get enhanced properties or specific functions.
These researches are based on a large panel of elaboration and characterization equipments, devoted not only to the determination of the structure of materials at different scales, but also to the study of various physical and chemical properties of interest and of properties in operating conditions.
Most of the SPCTS research topics are fundamental. However, numerous projects conducted in the framework of national and international collaborations are stimulated by potential industrial applications.
To summarize, the "material + process => product" is the logical pathway followed by SPCTS for structural and functional materials. The numerous collaborations with industrial partners are in the fields of the production of parts and components, or with engineers or designers using technologies requiring such materials (energy production, information and communication technologies, transportation, raw material transformation, etc.). The SPCTS is one of the leading institution of the French Ceramic Pole of Competitiveness.