Talk on metal Theft, University of Cambridge 27th January 2015, 7pm

Signature Materials – metal thieves, your card is marked! 27 Jan 2015, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, Cambridge, UK

Cambridge and Anglian Materials Society Lecture


David W Arthur, Project Manager, Signature Materials, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining


The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) has formed Signature Materials to tackle the ever present problem of metal theft. IOM3 has developed unique OVERT metal “signatures” which, together with an instantly accessible national register provides a solution to a crime that costs the UK economy an estimated £220 million per year.

The readable signature information is held within a National Register (MaRC, the Materials Registration Centre securely maintained by IOM3 ) linked to Police systems, and can be traced by police within a matter of minutes. This rapid traceability of the metal, without the need for a forensic check, to the site of a theft has previously been a major problem. With the new marks, there is no ambiguity, as the metal is linked to a given location – thieves can be charged on the spot. Processes have been developed for marking of wire, tube and sheet in a range of materials including lead, copper, aluminium and stainless steel.

Since inception the range has been developed and the work with ENWL on hardening substation assets has seen an award for the initiative resulting in the largest crime reduction. 


These talks are open to everyone interested in the topic.


Event Location Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy 27 Charles Babbage Road Cambridge CB3 0FS



7.00pm - light refreshments

7.30pm - presentation


Organiser details Cambridge and Anglian Materials Society Contact Name: 

Prof. Mike Fitzpatrick Email: