Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing is a process of producing items layer by layer. The key advantage of AM is the ability to produce complex shaped functional metallic components, including metals, alloys and metal matrix composites that cannot be easily produced by conventional methods. Components can be produced quickly and directly from a CAD model dramatically reducing production time, which also can reduce their environmental footprint through the reduction of waste and can deliver savings through improved product design. As a result, AM is regarded as an important revolution in manufacturing industry. The applications are potentially very wide-spread allowing lightweight, smart component manufacture with applicability to many sectors in sustainable infrastructure systems, including transport and energy systems (including off-shore applications).
Up to now, there has been extensive research on 3D printing of single metals, but little information is available for second-generation multiple materials additive manufacturing (MMAM). In fact, the most promising application of using high power laser is the possibility of integration of multiple materials into complex spatial locations, which cannot be achieved by any traditional manufacturing methods. It will open up a completely new manufacturing regime in which the products can be designed with far fewer constraints than when working from a single material. This will offer a revolutionary approach for manufacturing ‘designed materials’ with properties and functions which do not currently exist.
The overall aim of this project is to establish the relationship between material, process, metallurgical mechanisms and mechanical properties for laser based MMAM metallic components. The specific objectives of this research are: (1) MMAM manufacturing with combination of different metallic materials; (2) Investigation of the solidification behaviour of MMAM manufactured samples; (3) Study of microstructure-property relationship of MMAM materials; and (4) Simulation and modelling the MMAM processing.
Applications for this PhD research project are accepted on a rolling basis and we therefore advise you to apply early if you are interested. To make your application please go to: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/postgraduate/research_degrees/apply.page
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Nong Gao, Email: [email protected]
Visit our Postgraduate Research Opportunities Afternoon to find out more about Postgraduate Research study within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/news/events/2016/02/03-discover-your-future.page