AMPLab group is based in the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) for Materials Processing, in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. The research programme carried out in AMPLab aims at understanding the influence of advanced materials processing techniques (additive manufacturing, powder processing, and solid-state joining) on the microstructure-property development in advanced materials. Simultaneously, the research activities aim at developing new materials, and assessing their process-ability using a number of advanced manufacturing methods.
The research is performed in close collaboration with the Partnership for Research in Simulation of Manufacturing and Materials (PRISM2) group (link: http://www.prism2.org/) and a large number of industrial end-users in the aerospace, defence, nuclear, and general engineering sectors, including Rolls-Royce plc, BAE Systems, Safran Group (Messier-Buggatti-Dowty and MicroTurbo), TWI ltd, Meggitt, AEC, TIMET, and others). Current projects approach in value £ 7 millions (2012), from the EU (FP7 programme), TSB, EPSRC and a number of industrial contracts. The group works closely with the Catapult’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), providing the academic leadership for the netshape and additive manufacturing theme.
The scientific emphasis is on understanding the material-process interaction, utilising electron microscopy, synchrotron X-rays and neutron diffraction, and micro-tomography, to assess the impact of the processing method on the microstructural, structural integrity, and residual stress development. Typically studied manufacturing processes and materials include selective laser melting (SLM), direct laser fabrication (DLF), hot isostatic pressing (HIPping), and friction joining (linear friction, friction stir, and inertia friction welding) for ferrous alloys, titanium alloys, nickel superalloys, and aluminium alloys. The group hosts unique experimental systems, making it one of the centres of excellence in netshape manufacturing in the UK.