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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R32239/01
Title: Direct Route to the Production of Metallic Components using Selective Laser Sintering Technology
Principal Investigator: Childs, Professor Emeritus T
Other Investigators:
Dalgarno, Dr K Dalgarno, Professor KW
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Ford Motor Co Hasbro
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 03 July 2001 Ends: 02 October 2004 Value (£): 183,555
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
GR/R32345/01 GR/R32222/01
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is a large world-wide interest at this time in enhancing the capability of the selective laser sintering process (sls) for metal powders to a level at which it could be used as a general manufacturing process. Powder systems that can be commercially processed now limit product hardness to -250HV: if hardenable, for example tool, steels, could be processed, that would greatly extend the use of the technology. The proposed research aims to achieve this by: 1. design of steel composition for sls processability (melt formation and microstructure evolution in the temperature/time conditions created by scanning laser beams); 2. by considering powder flow in the process and matching powder size distribution and shape to its needs; 3. by researching the local interactions of the powder bed with scanning laser beams - in this case both continuous wave C02 and highly pulsed Nd: YAG lasers - which determine the temperature/time conditions and, with the surrounding atmosphere, surface tensions of any melt; and also the larger-scale interactions which control accuracy, to develop best laser scanning strategies; 4. by studying post-process heat treatments to develop good static and fatigue strengths; 5. by manufacturing trial parts for the project's industrial collaborators to test.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk