With £17.4 million of support from the EPSRC, Brunel University London and industry, we opened the Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC) on Brunel’s campus in Uxbridge in April 2016. Housing pilot and commercial metals processing equipment in a 1,500 m2 purpose-built building, the AMCC acts as a national scale-up facility to bridge the gap between fundamental, laboratory-scale research and full-scale industrial trials.
The Advanced Metal Processing Centre (a further 1500 m2) will house additional equipment to further expand our capability in the application of new technology to full scale industrial evaluation. Our latest building is due for completion in March 2017 and will contain advanced joining, measurement and characterisation technology.
In support of its industrial partners – Jaguar Land Rover, Constellium and a number of companies in the supply chain – the AMCC will initially serve the automotive industry, but the longer term aim is to make the facilities available to partners in the aerospace and other engineering sectors. Industrial partners will continue to work with the Future LiME Hub for long term basic research, and then through the AMCC/AMPC to scale laboratory developed technologies up to the production demonstrator scale thus shortening the time to bring laboratory discoveries to market.
This is important as technologies often do not progress across the so-called “valley of death” between fundamental research and industrial application. Our facility enables a gated process of evaluation across Technology Readiness Levels (TRL’s). This risk managed process allows only scale-optimised and understood technologies to reach industrial manufacturing processes.
The major equipment installation comprises:
Casting Capability • 450 tonne vacuum assisted HPDC • 1600 tonne vacuum assisted HPDC • 600kg aluminium dosing furnace • 500kg magnesium dosing furnace • 24 tonne LPDC machine • Gravity die casting system • Sand casting line • Direct Chill casting unit capable casting billets with 205 mm diameter and 2m length • 1 TRC unit for Al strip • 2 TRC units for Mg thin strip
Processing Capability • 350 tonne extrusion press • 1600 tonne extrusion line • 3D Freeform bending machine • Cold Metal Transfer Welding • Electro-magnetic pulse forming-welding machine • Micro and Macro CT Scanning Equipment • GOM Metrology System • Heat treatment furnaces • Machining facilities: CNC, CMM
If you have any questions regarding the AMCC and AMPC please contact Dr Simon Butler.