H2 Manufacturing: Hybrid-Hybrid machining of next generation aerospace materials
Efficient manufacturing of parts is key for sustained development of the manufacturing sector in the UK
This project combines laser assisted and ultrasonically assisted machining to deliver a novel hybrid-hybrid machining process. The application of laser assisted machining has shown promise in reducing tool wear in the machining of difficult-to-machine aerospace materials, such as, metal matrix composites (MMCs). At the same time, ultrasonically assisted machining has been successfully used to reduction cutting forces with an improvement of machined surface quality. This project is a fundamental research programme that aims to comprehensively study the two techniques in combination with a clear route to industrial implementation.
The research focuses on the influence of the thermal field-ultrasonic vibrations-mechanical deformation on the MMC material, taking into consideration the initial underlying micro-structure of the material. Special attention is paid to the dynamic recrystallization and grain growth of the metallic matrix material due to the influence of the imposed thermal field and deformation-rates.
In parallel, a laser-ultrasonically assisted machining system has been designed, developed and installed on a CNC machine, with the ultimate goal of cutting using less force, eliminating the need for coolants and reducing machining-induced damage.
Machining studies are conducted under industrially relevant machining conditions with several case studies aimed at developing next generation tools for optimal manufacture.
Facilities used in this project include those available at the University of Manchester (laser), Loughborough University (ultrasonic machining lab) and the AMRC (hybrid machining lab).
Professor Anish Roy - Professor of Mechanics of Materials and Processes
“Through the introduction of hybrid-hybrid manufacturing processes such as the one proposed in this project, UK industries will be able to meet the growing demands on future materials for the aerospace industry.”