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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T005041/1
Title: Manufacture with Pulsed-Electric Mechano-Vibratory Machining
Principal Investigator: Roy, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 July 2019 Ends: 30 June 2021 Value (£): 250,463
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Manufacturing of high-end parts requires machining of difficult-to-cut materials which is rather challenging. To date, research into improving the machining process deal with either (a) improving tooling with a plethora of coatings or geometric features; or; (b) tweaking the thermo-mechanical characteristics in machining, with the use of coolants and/or varying the machining speed. Through endless cycles of optimisation, the industry has reached its limit of what is possible. We need to explore radically different routes to improve this process.

Here, we explore a hybrid machining process where high-density DC current is delivered to the material being machined via a tool which is vibrating at very high frequencies. This electro-vibratory machining process will be effective in electrically conductive materials (which is essentially all metals and alloys which are used in the aerospace and energy industry). Such a unique machining process will allow for significantly reduced machining forces, improve part integrity in service and make the overall machining process much cheaper, by eliminating the need for environmentally harmful coolants. Finally, research will be conducted with the aim of developing next-generation inexpensive tools for optimal manufacture.

This unique machining prototype will be designed, developed and installed on an existing CNC machine to test the efficacy of machining relevant materials. 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 manufacturing technique will significantly improve productivity in the UK manufacturing context, as the concept can be adapted to other machining processes such as drilling, milling and sawing; joining processes such as vibration welding and possibly ultrasonic additive manufacture of materials which are electrically conductive.
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk