Please describe the project, up to 250 words. * The application of laser assisted machining/processing has shown promise in reducing tool wear in the machining of difficult-to-machine aerospace materials, such as, metal matrix composites (MMCs). On the other hand, ultrasonically assisted machining has been successfully used to demonstrate essential reductions in 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 implementation. Through the transition to hybrid-hybrid manufacturing processes, UK industries will be able to meet the growing needs of present and future sectors/customers by efficient and sustainable resource usage in the manufacture of future aerospace materials. The research will focus 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. In parallel, a laser-ultrasonically assisted machining system will be designed, developed and installed on an existing CNC machine, with the aim of cutting without coolants, using less force and machining-induced damage. Machining studies will be conducted at industrially relevant machining conditions. Comparisons will be drawn with current practice for best machining outcomes. It is expected that the new hybrid-hybrid manufacture will lead to less machining forces with reduced tool wear and post machining residual stresses.
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent e.g. GPA of 7.5/10 or higher) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering or a related subject.