Metal processing facilities in the IIMM at Begbroke include large-scale equipment for Spray Processing, DC casting and Squeeze casting.
Manufacturing processes based upon the spraying of molten materials are used for producing a surprisingly broad range of coatings, free standing shapes and even large billets weighing several tonnes. These processes all involve continually spraying sub-millimetre molten droplets at high velocity, which in itself is an extremely difficult achievement. Applications for this technology include coatings to prevent wear, corrosion, erosion, oxidation, and can also be used to create thermal barriers, bond coats and abradable seals. large sprayed shapes have been shown to have low contamination and refined structures that offer improved properties. This can be applied to rapid prototyping and manufacture of tools and components.
The spray processing equipment is available for collaborative research projects with companies as well as for general hire on a daily rate. Enquiries about the facility can be made through Professor Patrick Grant.
DC casting and Squeeze casting
Direct Chill casting enables casting of tonnes of molten aluminium alloys to near net-shape ingots. This facility is large enough to allowing research studies of casting behaviour at industrial scales.
Squeeze casting, also known as liquid metal forging, uses high pressure during the solidification process to ensure low shrinkage and low porosity and more uniform microstructure due to solidification being faster than gravity casting. This industrial scale equipment is used in conjunction with industry to develop alloys and casting practices.
The casting equipment is available for collaborative research projects with companies as well as for general hire on a daily rate. Enquiries about the facility can be made through Dr Keyna.O'Reilly.