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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T013141/1
Title: CMMI-EPSRC: Thermoacoustic response of Additively Manufactured metals: A multi-scale study from grain to component scales
Principal Investigator: Patterson, Professor EA
Other Investigators:
Sutcliffe, Professor CJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Renishaw The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd Uni of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Department: Mech, Materials & Aerospace Engineering
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2020 Ends: 31 August 2024 Value (£): 432,184
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Materials Characterisation
Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Dec 2019 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 3 and 4 December 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The proposal builds on an existing collaboration which has focussed on achieving a multi-scale understanding of the material-structure response to thermoacoustic excitation at up to 750K and 800 Hz using detailed experiments and simulations, in plates and beams of conventionally-manufactured metals, ranging from aluminium to Hastelloy X. Results have shown, at a microscale, a tendency for deformation to concentrate in the larger grains of oligocrystal within the material microstructure at locations disparate from where macroscale homogeneous analysis predicts (Carroll et al., Int. J. Fatigue, 57: 140-150, 2013), demonstrating that non-uniformity in the microstructure can lead to significant and service critical errors in predicting failure.

Further laboratory-scale experiments, using maps of surface deformation measured during broadband thermoacoustic excitation, have confirmed the presence of mode jumping and shifting when non-uniform heating generates thermal buckling (Lopez-Alba et al, J. Sound & Vibration 439:241-250, 2019). With this in mind, the research team scaled these tests to component scale, establishing quantitative validation procedures for coupled models of thermoacoustic excitation of simple components (Berke et al, Exptl. Mech., 56(2):231-243, 2016). In doing so, the team developed two unique pieces of experimental apparatus: in Illinois, for localised heating and modal excitation of coupons; and in Liverpool, to deliver spatially distributed heating at 21kW while simultaneously applying random broadband excitation to small components. Both rigs have real-time, full-field temperature and displacement measurement capability. Lambros and Patterson have correspondingly complementary expertise in multi-scale mechanics of materials under extreme loading (Lambros) and in measurement, simulation and validation of structural responses (Patterson).

It is proposed to exploit these findings, facilities and expertise to understand the potential for additive manufacturing in the production of components subject to extreme thermomechanical excitation in demanding environments. It is likely that this type of structure will be produced in small quantities rendering it appropriate to consider additive manufacturing; however, the extreme conditions of temperature and mechanical loading make it a challenging application for any material. Successful design, manufacture and service deployment of such components requires an understanding of the multi-scale material-structure response to loading and its evolution with a component's progression from its virgin state through shake-down towards initiation of detectable non-critical damage. These responses are understood at a fundamental level for subtractively-manufactured metals; however, there is very limited fundamental understanding of these material-structural interactions for additively-manufactured metals, at either room temperature (Attar et al, IJ Mach. Tools & Manu., 133: 85-102, 2018, Foehring et al, Mat. Sci. Eng. A, 724: 536-546, 2018) or elevated temperatures (Roberts et al, Progress. Add. Manu., 1-8, 2018). It is hypothesized, because of the unique microstructure containing the previously studied larger grains of oligocrystal, the complex thermomechanical history of their manufacture and the presence of significant residual stresses, that the response of additively-manufactured metals under extreme thermoacoustic loading will be significantly different from their subtractively-manufactured counterparts, especially in defect-driven processes such as failure.

This proposal extends the research of Lambros and Patterson by adding the additive manufacturing expertise and facilities provided by Sutcliffe (R&D Director at Renishaw AMPD, RAe Silver Medallist 2018 with over 20 years researching metal additive manufacturing) who has unparalleled access to the latest additive manufacturing technology.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk