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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P005284/1
Title: An integrated (ICME) approach to multiscale modelling of the fabrication and joining of powder processed parts
Principal Investigator: Basoalto, Professor H
Other Investigators:
Preuss, Professor M Smith, Professor M C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AB Group AREVA Group EDF
Nuclear AMRC Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
Department: Metallurgy and Materials
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2016 Ends: 31 May 2021 Value (£): 1,003,550
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Jun 2016 Design By Science Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The applicability of metallic powder based production methods such as HIP or additive layer manufacturing (ALM) are restricted by an inability to define the process parameters with sufficient accuracy to provide the quality required for industrial production. Similarly the implementation of the joining technologies needed for component fabrication is limited by a lack of understanding of both the gas-liquid phase interactions and the effect of the solid state phase transformations that occur in the relevant alloy systems. Traditional solutions, based on practical trials and physical assessment, are both costly and time consuming and for the long service lives encountered in the energy and propulsion industries are not feasible while empirically based phenomenological modelling approaches cannot provide the required fidelity.

To address these industrial needs a multiscale modelling approach is proposed which combines experimental validation with the application of materials modelling, at the short length scales required to capture the relevant physics, together with the development of techniques to incorporate the predicted behaviour in a consistent manner at higher length scales for application to component level simulations.

The multiscale model integration will consist of a number of component parts commencing with new multiphysics based computational fluid dynamics calculations of the short length scale fluid flow and liquid/gas interactions in welding and additive manufacturing. These will provide data on porosity formation which will be combined with cellular automata predictions of grain structure. Novel methods will be developed to combine this fine scale data in a finite element based crystal plasticity framework to define representative volume elements for modelling the macroscopic behaviour in component stress analysis.

The component level simulation work will build upon the EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship of Prof Smith on a whole-life approach to high integrity welding technologies by utilising the knowledge gained on the effect of the microstructural changes imposed by welding. These have a profound influence on a weld's resistance to in-service degradation and upon its sensitivity to the presence of cracking. The microstructural characterisation data available on 316L stainess steel from the Fellowship work will also provide a basis for the model validation.

A key part of the developments in this project will be the extension, from typical single value deterministic models, to statistically based descriptions of material properties and process variability. This is a challenging activity but it is essential that modelling tools become capable of predicting the scatter that is seen in real materials. A successful solution will not only generate novel science but will clearly lead to the development of probabilistic lifing methods with risk based outputs for decision making which have clear benefits for industry. This approach provides the prospect of a better understanding of in-service performance of components and welds in both the existing UK nuclear reactor fleet and in any industrial sector where long term structural performance is important.

Similar developments in the US have led to a new field known as Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME). This is a multi-disciplinary approach to product design that offers huge economic potential and the successful implementation of ICME will revolutionise the way components are being designed and manufactured. This proposal will address the modelling and design challenge using an ICME based approach on industrial demonstrators of 316L stainless steel HIPped and TIG welded parts. The demonstrators, supplied by the partners from the aerospace and energy industries, will show the benefits that can be achieved in different market sectors. The proposed programme will be the first attempt in the UK to use ICME tools on large industrial scale demonstrators.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk