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IFSTTAR’s Materials and Structures Department (MAST) conducts research and expert appraisals in the areas of materials, transport infrastructure and large civil engineering structures, in particular those used in electricity production and transportation.

The areas covered by the department’s laboratories means it can deal with research issues at several levels, from fundamental to applied research, and from the nanoscale of the material to the scale of infrastructure networks.

The main disciplines are material sciences (physical chemistry), the mechanics of solids and the engineering sciences (processes). Combining these disciplines allows us to provide a holistic response to two of the goals of sustainable development: sustainable management (condition surveys, optimized management, risk limitation) and sustainable design (eco-materials, ecodesign and life cycle analysis).

The department boasts some exceptional experimental facilities: a Magnetic Resonance Imager, a 600 m² strong floor with reaction walls, a cable fatigue test bench operating to 24,000 kN, an environmental SEM, a circular fatigue test track for pavement structures, an aggregate crushing plant and an industrial mixer, etc.

MAST has a full-time staff of 270 spread between 8 IFSTTAR laboratories in Marne-la-Vallée and Nantes and the Navier Laboratory, which is managed jointly by IFSTTAR, the CNRS and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.