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UltraMAT

Power ultrasound as a generic tool for micro/nanoscale processing of metals

The project goal is a novel generic technology for materials processing that are widespread in manufacturing e.g. in the welding and adhesive joining of components, the manufacture of bulk composite components and in traditional, PM (HIP) and semi solid casting. The key purpose of UltraMAT is to enable production of manufactured components with step improvements in specific strength (yield and tensile strengths) and modulus, specific stiffness and thus light weighting; driven by economic and environmental needs to reduce energy consumption and emissions in manufacture and transport. The enabling tool is power ultrasound with purpose shaped force fields for controlled movement and size creation of uniform nano structures to enable: (1) Production of homogeneously distributed and shaped nanoscale particulates, fibres or grains). (2) Enhancement of interlayer and filler-matrix adhesion bonds. UltraMAT will be validated through the fabrication and testing of samples of a number of key structure/joint types of growing importance especially in aerospace or automotive bodies/engines. These can be metal matrix composites with fibre/ particulate (e.g. SiC), Ti/Al laser welding. Reinforcement distribution hence homogeneity where applicable will be explored using graphene (G) and carbon nanotubes (NT) because the strong agglomeration tendencies of G and NT is impeding their ability to realise commercially, components of high strength. In short pulse echo mode, UltraMAT will self-evaluate its performance on line aided by predictive big analytics for NDE.

Objective

Application of high power ultrasonic for metal matrix processing to have a finer grain distribution.

Benefits

Higher strength, longer fatigue life and lightweight material.

This project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.