Forming: Superplasticity, Severe Deformation and Ultrafine Grained Materials

Airframe, Aeroengine, and Transport Materials

Soaring global demand for oil and increasing concerns regarding CO2 emissions are driving intense interest in greater efficiency and weight saving in the transport sector. Although there is a move towards polymer matrix composites in airframes, they have high material and manufacturing costs, poor recyclability and limited high temperature properties.

Metals, such as aluminium, titanium and magnesium alloys, remain the materials of choice for many transport applications and are also being developed as composite systems. Nickel based superalloys are important for aeroengine applications.  The use of these high performance metallic materials is expected to double in the transport sector over the next ten years.

There is a large range of activity in this field within the School of Materials, heavily supported by industry. This encompasses the development of new alloys and processing techniques, studies of in-service performance, modelling, and microstructure control. Our research in the light alloys (Al, Mg, Ti) is channelled through the Manchester Light Alloy for Sustainable Transport EPSRC Partnerships, LATEST (2005-2010) and LATEST2 (2010-present).

Research interests

  • Alloy design and development
  • Metal composites
  • Microstructure and property modelling
  • Thermomechanical processing
  • Forming, superplastic forming, creep – ageforming
  • Joining; friction and friction stir welding
  • Surface treatment and corrosion protection
  • Failure behaviour; residual stress and damage characterisation
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