ATL undertakes R&D contracts for industrial companies. A typical programme might be to design and assemble a bench-scale piece of CVD equipment. Many parts may already be available at ATL. This piece of equipment would then be operated over a number of experiments with varying deposition equipment. The resulting coatings are analysed. Thickness can be measured by rotating ball wear test.  Microscopy and cross sections are prepared in house. More detailed analysis, such as SEM & EDAX, is done at nearby Brunel University.

Samples of optimised coatings are delivered to the customer for further testing.

Many of these contract are carried out under a secrecy agreement, but recent examples are Reaction Engines & JET-EFDA.