Additive manufacturing (AM), was originally used for creating prototypes, but is now being adopted to create fully functional products. This method of manufacturing allows us to create complex shapes, to exact measurements. It works by fusing together metallic, ceramic or other powders into detailed 3D shapes, layer by layer, using laser light. During traditional manufacturing routes, like casting or forging, microstructures are formed over seconds to minutes. During AM, the intense laser heating melts and solidifies the materials in milliseconds, forming very different microstructures.Read more...
Rolls-Royce apply a surface treatment to the base of the fan blades on some of their Trent engines to provide additional integrity margins by reducing the potential for initiation and propagation of cracks. During development of one of their latest turbofan engines, the Trent 1000, researchers from Rolls-Royce needed a material characterisation method so that they could assess the effectiveness of the local surface treatments.Read more...
Luxfer Gas Cylinders have been manufacturing high-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and life-support cylinders for fire-fighters and first-responders since the early 1970s. Cylinders are required to be increasingly lightweight, efficient and safe storage solutions. Advanced carbon fibre-wrapped aluminium construction methods and a fabrication process called autofrettage aim to reduce weight and increase maximum working pressures of cylinders. However, since cylinders can be exposed to demanding conditions, it is critical that their structural integrity be maintained.Read more...
”Corrosion resistant” metals are used in challenging environments and where safety is critical, such as in pipelines, aircraft and nuclear waste storage vessels. But it is precisely these materials that are vulnerable to a form of corrosion known as pitting. Understanding of the mechanisms by which these pits form and propagate may allow engineers to build more accurate models of corrosion to predict the lifetime of components and plan when they need inspecting or replacing.Read more...
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