EU Science Hub

SMPA, Structural Materials Performance Assessment Laboratories (EMMA)

Oct 20 2021
Feb 01 2022

The SMPA laboratories are used for the mechanical performance characterisation, life assessment and qualification of structural materials for present and next generation nuclear systems. They include test machines and auxiliary equipment for performing creep, tensile and fracture tests for different test specimens including uniaxial tensile/creep, small punch and compact test specimens. Supporting 3D profilometry, microstructural analysis and data management tools may be offered.

Environmental & Mechanical Materials Assessment

  • 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 SMPA

  1. Safety and reliability of nuclear components
  2. Support to the development and adaptation of European Codes and Standards
  3. Development of test procedures and instrumentation with available test equipment to achieve simpler, more reliable or non-standard tailored data and estimates for of material properties
  4. Prediction of design life of new materials and remaining life of service-exposed materials including welded joints. The data will be in support of model development and validation
  5. Characterization of tensile and creep and creep-fatigue properties of new and service-exposed materials using standard and miniaturized specimen tests

Definition and conditions of access

Access to the research infrastructure is granted on the basis of Access Units. For SMPA, the Access Unit corresponds to an 'AU' and its definition depends on the type of equipment made available to users.

  • Two uniaxial creep machines (20 kN) are available. Duration of creep tests can range from a few days to years. The AU is "100 hours", which includes preparation and continuous operation of each machine. Depending on the test programme, the machines can typically run between 1000 and 8000 hours.
  • Two small punch creep test machines are available. The small punch creep test has a shorter duration that standard uniaxial creep tests. The AU are "100 hours", which includes preparation and continuous operation of each machine. Depending on the test programme, the machines can typically run between 24 and 700 hours.
  • One low force testing machine (3kN), operated during working hours. Test durations typically minutes to hours. With preparation minimum one day allocated. The AU is "1 day" of operation during working hours.
  • Charpy hammer (300 or 50J), operated during working hours. Test durations typically 1 hour; with preparation minimum one day allocated. The AU is "1 day" of operation during working hours.

The user is expected to be experienced in the tests types to be performed and is also expected to be able to independently prepare and conduct tests after short training provided on-site.

  • Estimated total number of Access Unit allocated to the call:
    • Creep machines (20 kN): 80 AU (8,000 hours)
    • Small punch creep machines : 30 AU (3,000 hours)
    • One miniature testing machine (3kN): 30 AU (30 days)
    • Charpy Hammers (300 or 50J): 10 AU (10 days)
  • Average number of Access Unit per Project:
    • Creep Machines (20 kN): 40 AU (4,000 hours)
    • Small punch creep machines: 15 AU (1,500 hours)
    • Miniature testing machine (3 kN): 15 AU (15 days)
    • Charpy Hammers (300 or 50J): 5 AU (5 days)
  • Estimated costs excluding consumables and expenses:
    • Research infrastructure operated by JRC staff: 0€ / Day
    • Research infrastructure operated by users: Yes

The users may also take advantage of JRC High Performance Cluster and finite element codes as well as microstructural analysis to prepare tests plans and post analysis.

Access to SMPA test machines for which AUs are not defined, may exceptionally be included. It is expected that the Users’ 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 Users’ Institutions located in an EU Member State or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme (only United Kingdom 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: 40
  • Estimated total number for long- term stays (months) eligible for T&S allocated to the call: 16

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 User 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

*At the time of publishing this call, association negotiations are being processed or association is imminent with the following countries (listed in the alphabetical order): Ukraine and United Kingdom.

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.

During preparation of the proposal, applicants are encouraged to:

Proposals 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.