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


Project description

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.



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


Higher strength, longer fatigue life and lightweight material.


  • InnotecUK
  • Cambridge Nanomaterials Technology Ltd
  • Carrs Welding Technologies Ltd
  • KWSP Ltd
  • Nquiring Minds
  • Cedar Metals Limited
  • Brunel University London

For more information, please visit the UltraMAT website.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications -
  • CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham)
  • MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick)
  • MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham)
  • PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick)
Languages -
  • English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese
Professional Bodies -
  • Fellow of the British Institute of NDT
  • Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology
Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.
Power ultrasound as a generic tool for micro/nanoscale processing of metals