The research group Sustainable Materials Science (SMS) was started by prof. Verbeken when he became research professor (BOF-ZAP) at Ghent University in 2010.

The research group is part of the Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering (MaTCh) and has a large amount of experimental and characterization facilities at its disposal for both research and service purposes.

Some of our recent papers can be found at the bottom of this page or via the biblio-page of prof. Verbeken.

The list of the invited and keynote lectures from our group can be found here.

The research and provided services focus on 3 topics:

  • the study of the interaction of materials with hydrogen
  • the study of degradation of materials by interaction with their environment
  • the study of high-temperature metallurgical processes from both a modelling and experimental approach

Hydrogen-material interaction

  • Interaction between steel microstructure and hydrogen
  • Hydrogen cracks in steel
  • Hydrogen permeation in steels
  • Study of the hydrogen induced degradation of austenitic steels
  • Hydrogen induced damage in lightweight martensitic Fe-Al-C alloys
  • Study of the interactions between hydrogen, carbon and vacancies in iron-based alloys
  • Environmental (hydrogen) assisted failure of titanium
  • Hydrogen Embrittlement of Advanced High Strength Steels
  • The effect of hydrogen on the fracture toughness of pipeline steels

Environmentally-assisted degradation

  • Microstructural characteristics of corrosion processes

  • Hot-dip aluminized steel: characterization and evaluation
  • Corrosion in sour conditions
  • Stress-corrosion cracking
  • Fusion reactor materials
  • Phase field modelling of grain orientation dependent corrosion.


  • Interaction of solids and liquid metal in liquid slag
  • Microstructural evolution during pyrometallurgical processes
  • Slag foaming during copper smelting
  • Convertor slag properties and their influence upon steel refining
  • Interaction between hot pyrometallurgical phase and coolant
  • Influence of solids on slag rheology
  • Influence of multivalent ions on the electrical conductivity of slags