Nuclear AMRC appoints managing director

The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has appointed respected industry professional Andrew Storer as managing director to further strengthen the centre’s support for UK manufacturers.

Andy Storer

The appointment comes at a crucial time for the UK civil nuclear industry. With the new build programme poised to move forwards, a heightened focus on the clean-up of high hazard waste at legacy nuclear facilities, and the need to support the life extension of the existing nuclear fleet in the UK, the Nuclear AMRC is committed to increasing its support for UK supply chain competitiveness.

Andrew Storer has been programme director for Rolls-Royce’s civil nuclear business for the past six years, leading customer engagement and bids with new build developers. He also leads a number of supply chain development initiatives for the Nuclear Industry Council.

He joins the Nuclear AMRC as managing director from 12 October 2015, and will be responsible for day-to-day leadership of the Nuclear AMRC.

Storer says: “I am delighted to be joining the Nuclear AMRC at such an exciting time for the UK nuclear industry. The opportunities that lie ahead for the UK supply chain are varied and vast. The Nuclear AMRC has a key role to play in ensuring that companies are able to step up to the challenge, to secure a profitable and sustainable future in the UK, while establishing a robust export growth opportunity.”    

The appointment allows Nuclear AMRC chief executive officer Mike Tynan to focus on strategic issues including the Nuclear AMRC’s role in supporting development of small modular reactors (SMRs) for the UK market, and enhanced support for manufacturing clusters close to the UK’s new build sites in Somerset, North Wales and West Cumbria.

Tynan says: “Andy’s appointment is a tremendous boost for Nuclear AMRC at a time when it is crucial that we fully support UK companies in their drive to compete for work in the global civil nuclear market.

“Andy Storer brings unique experience to lead efforts at Nuclear AMRC to assist UK suppliers and developers. Andy is an established nuclear industry professional with an excellent track record in the complex environment of nuclear supplier development, government support and industrial application. He will be a valuable asset to the Nuclear AMRC and will further strengthen our ability to support UK industry.”

Ceramic tools can keep cool

Nuclear AMRC machining specialists are investigating the use of ceramic cutting tools with high-pressure coolant, a combination which could deliver significant improvements in production efficiency.

ceramic trialCeramic inserts are used in industries such as aerospace for their excellent wear resistance at high cutting speeds on hard-to-machine heat-resistant alloys. They are often used without any coolant, to maintain the localised heat required to cut alloys such as Inconel.

Coolant can still bring benefits to ceramic machining by increasing tool life, but its delivery has to be carefully managed to avoid fracturing caused by thermal shock.

The Nuclear AMRC is working with tier one member Sandvik Coromant to test tooling which combines ceramic inserts with high-pressure coolant delivery, and to optimise cutting conditions for applications in the civil nuclear supply chain.

“Working in partnership with the Nuclear AMRC provides a perfect collaborative environment to identify, design, test and deliver a fully optimised component solution,” says Steve Weston, advanced machining application centre manager for Sandvik Coromant.

The project is focusing on Inconel, a nickel-based heat-resistant alloy widely used in reactor components and jet turbines.

“Inconel’s superior yield and tensile strength make it extremely difficult to machine effectively,” says Eva McLeod, project engineer at the Nuclear AMRC. “This research will expand our knowledge of new machining techniques, develop effective methods of machining difficult materials, and help us understand more about the benefits of using ceramic inserts such as improved surface quality and reduced machining time.”

Initial trials on the Nuclear AMRC’s Hermle C60 mill-turn centre have shown that the concept of combining ceramic inserts with high-pressure coolant is sound, delivering a significant increase in metal removal rate.

The ongoing project will aim to define optimal cutting conditions for a range of materials and applications, and to build a business case to show the cost and time advantages of the technique.

 

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