All the recent DEMO design studies for helium cooled divertors utilize tungsten materials and alloys, mainly due to their high temperature strength, good thermal conductivity, low erosion, and comparably low activation under neutron irradiation. The long-term objective of the EFDA fusion materials programme is to develop structural as well as armor materials in combination with the necessary production and fabrication technologies for future divertor concepts. The programmatic roadmap is structured into four engineering research lines which comprise fabrication process development, structural material development, armor material optimization, and irradiation performance testing, which are complemented by a fundamental research programme on "Materials Science and Modeling". This paper presents the current research status of the EFDA experimental and testing investigations, and gives a detailed overview of the latest results on fabrication, joining, high heat flux testing, plasticity, modeling, and validation experiments. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.