The School of Mechanical Engineering boasts one of the leading research groups in micro manufacturing, thanks to the University recent strategic investment in Advanced Manufacturing and the grant from Advantage West Midlands, which has enabled the lab to establish itself and to support a large number of West Midlands-based small/medium manufacturing companies. The lab conducts research in the area of micro manufacturing with a specific focus on:
- Investigations of micro machining response of a wide range of workpiece materials although aerospace alloys, mould / die steels and bulk metallic glasses are central to many of the lab activities;
- Micro tool-making and replication as key enabling technologies for scale up micro manufacture;
- Integration of complementary micro machining technologies, e.g. micro milling, micro EDM and laser ablation, into process chains and their validation to address specific requirements of products, e.g. microwave circuits for communications systems and medical devices;
- Feasibility studies to develop new micro manufacturing platforms to address the specific requirements of emerging applications.
The formation of this group as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Centre has significantly enhanced the University's already considerable conventional / non-conventional machining facilities, which are one of the best in any UK academic institution. The lab has a state-of-the-art micro machining facilities that include:
The group also works closely with other research labs/groups within the School and the EPS College and has access to other state-of-the-art characterisation equipment such as optical and scanning electron microscopy, FIB, metallography, microhardness, contact based surface profilometer, co-ordinate measuring machine etc.
Prof. Stefan Dimov
Dr. Leung Soo