EU Science Hub

LILLA, Liquid Lead Laboratory (EMMA)

Jul 08 2020
Oct 15 2020

The LIquid Lead LAboratory (LILLA) offers testing of mechanical and corrosion properties of materials in liquid lead with controlled dissolved oxygen concentrations and for temperatures up to 650°C.

LILLA is situated at the Joint Research Centre in Petten (the Netherlands), and allows performing mechanical tests of materials in liquid lead with controlled dissolved oxygen concentrations for temperatures up to 650°C.

It gives the possibility to study liquid metal embrittlement phenomena / environmentally assisted cracking, and the effect of stress, temperature and oxygen content in lead on corrosion mechanisms, as well as to test the lead chemistry instrumentation.

Within the frame of this open call, the following facilities may be accessed:

  • The LILLA facility, with a range of temperatures in lead from 380°C to 650°C and oxygen concentrations in lead from saturation down to at least 10–8 weight%;
  • Two test sections with load or displacement control accomplished through pneumatic bellows-based system and with the following parameters:
    • Test type: tensile
    • Maximum load: 12 kN, push/pull;
    • Maximum displacement: 5 mm;
    • Displacement rates: 10–8 to 10–2 mm/s;
    • Fatigue: maximum 0.1 Hz;
    • Test / hold times: at least 100 s up to 1,000 h;
    • Each test section is equipped with its own Pt-air reference electrode oxygen sensor and thermocouple.
  • A glovebox for cleaning of specimens.

Supporting 3D profilometry, microstructural analysis (light optical microscope /LOM/, scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry /SEM–EDX/), and Vickers micro hardness (0.1 kg – 20 kg) can also be offered.

Environmental & Mechanical Materials Assessment (EMMA)

  • Mode:
    Relevance Driven
  • Identifier:
  • Location:
    Petten, The Netherlands
  • Opening of the call:
  • Closure of the call:
  • Communication of the assessment of proposals:


Priority topics of LILLA

  1. Safety and reliability of nuclear components for future nuclear systems
  2. Support to the development and adaptation of European Codes and Standards
  3. Characterisation of mechanical properties of candidate and new corrosion-resistant high-temperature materials, incl. surface modifications and welded joints
  4. Development of test and assessment methods as well as instrumentation to achieve easier and more reliable estimates of material properties using sub-size or miniaturised specimens
  5. Imaging techniques for opaque medium

Definition and conditions of access

Access to the research infrastructure is granted on the basis of Access Units. For LILLA, the Access Unit corresponds to an 'AU', equal to 1 day of continuous operation of the facility.

The LILLA facility can be continuously operated with duration depending on the test programme, typically between 4 and 12 AUs. The latter is representative for performing a slow-strain rate tensile (SSRT) test in high-temperature liquid lead with controlled oxygen content.

12 AU corresponds to two tensile tests and two corrosion tests (without load), which can be conducted simultaneously.

  • Estimated total number of Access Unit allocated to the call: 24 AU
  • Average number of Access Unit per Project: 12 AU


  • Estimated costs excluding consumables and expenses:
    • Research infrastructure operated by JRC staff: 0€ / Day
    • Research infrastructure operated by users: Yes

It is expected that the User Institutions provide the test specimens.

Support of users for travel and subsistence

The JRC may provide a financial or in-kind contribution to support Users to cover their costs of travel and subsistence (T&S) related to the User Stay Days, subject to the availability of funds, personnel and other resources to Users from User Institutions located in an EU Member State or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme (only Switzerland and Ukraine).

A User Stay Day is a day of physical presence of a User at the concerned Research Infrastructure for Access related to the User Access Project. A User Stay Day counts as a registered entry to the JRC site where the Research Infrastructure is located.

  • Estimated total number of User Stay Days for short- term stays eligible for T&S allocated to the call: 10
  • Estimated total number for long- term stays (months) eligible for T&S allocated to the call: 4

Long term stays are primarily for students and have a duration of at least 1 month. They are typically 3 to 9 months for Karlsruhe, and 1 to 6 months for Petten and Geel.

The Lead Used is welcomed to fill in the User travel and subsistence form and send it to by the closing date of the call. For more information the Lead User may contact the JRC Research Infrastructure at

Allocation of intellectual property rights

  • The JRC and the entitled party (person or organisation that has been granted access) become co-owners in equal shares of all raw data, treated data and documentation data developed with respect to the access.

or, if requested by the user or when users run the research infrastructure

  • Raw data, treated data and documentation data will be solely owned by the entitled party. The JRC receives a non-exclusive, royalty free, unlimited and world-wide license to use (meaning in particular to access, exploit, adapt, merge, translate, copy and store) the raw data, processed data and documentation data in all fields of exploitation. Where relevant, the license will include all the data / information necessary to replicate the tests.

Eligibility criteria

  • The Lead User Institution and User Institutions (see definitions in the Framework) must be from an EU Member State, or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme (only Switzerland and Ukraine).
  • The Lead User Institution must be from a university, research or public institution, or from a Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME).
  • Ethical considerations in accordance with EU Law, in particular Art. 19 of Regulation (EU) 1291/2013, and applicable laws and regulations in the EU Member States.
  • The proposal submission form is complete and complies with the instructions.

Selection criteria

Proposals will be evaluated in accordance to the following selection criteria:

  • Scientific implementation (50 points)
  • Collaboration and access to new Users (20 points)
  • Strategic relevance to the JRC (15 points)
  • Strategic importance for Europe (15 points)

How to apply

The proposal must be prepared using the Relevance-driven Proposal Submission Form.

Please note that specimens need to be prepared by the user.

Please specify the level of experience of the user(s) to perform the related tests.

During preparation of the proposal, applicants are encouraged to:

The proposal should be submitted to by the closing date of the call.

The User Selection Committee will only evaluate proposals that are complete and comply with the instructions in the proposal submission form.