Collaborative R&D projects

The Nuclear AMRC leads and participates in numerous collaborative research and development projects, supported by UK and international funding programmes.

We lead and collaborate in externally-funded R&D projects including those supported by Innovate UK, EPSRC and the European Horizon 2020 programme. These projects bring together the Nuclear AMRC, manufacturers along the supply chain, and other specialist research centres. They aim to address specific problems in high-value manufacturing, and deliver technical innovation and sustainable economic benefits.

We have extensive experience in forming project consortia, preparing bids, winning funding, and successfully managing collaborative R&D projects. We can also bring our unique capabilities and resources for innovative large-scale manufacturing to projects led by others.

Current funding sources for collaborative R&D at the Nuclear AMRC include:

  • Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency, supporting R&D projects in a range of priority areas, with regular funding competitions to help companies develop new ideas.
  • EPSRC – the UK’s main agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC is principally funded by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and invests more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects.
  • Horizon 2020 – a European Commission programme to bring innovation to market. Horizon 2020 supports collaborative projects involving industry, SMEs and research institutions across Europe, and has a strong focus on sustainable manufacturing.
  • Nugenia – the European association for R&D in nuclear fission technologies, which offers another route to European funding for nuclear-specific projects. Nugenia focuses on seven technical areas, and generally supports smaller projects than Horizon 2020.

To find out more about working with us on collaborative R&D projects, contact Colin Walters, Nuclear AMRC programme director: colin.walters@namrc.co.uk

 

Projects

Current collaborative R&D projects at the Nuclear AMRC include:

  • Nnuman – £8 million, four-year EPSRC-funded programme led by The University of Manchester Dalton Nuclear Institute, with support from the Nuclear AMRC and National Nuclear Laboratory. Nnuman is developing new R&D capabilities to support the future needs of the UK and global nuclear industry, in areas including joining, advanced machining, near-net shape manufacture, and product performance.
  • Amos – we are leading this €2.6 million, four-year collaboration between European and Canadian aerospace manufacturers and researchers, to investigate the use of additive manufacturing techniques for repair and remanufacturing. The project involves a range of additive technologies used by the partners, with the Nuclear AMRC focusing on wire-feed gas tungsten arc processes used in our bulk additive cell. Amos is supported by Horizon 2020 and Canadian funding agencies CARIC and NSERC.
  • Innovative forging and fabrication solutions for the energy sector – a £4 million, 30-month project led by Sheffield Forgemasters to reduce the cost, lead time and embodied energy of large forgings. The project involves the production of large prototype nuclear components using a range of forging, forming and fabrication methods. We are providing machining and other process development support. Other partners include Rolls-Royce, The Welding Institute, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Coroma – we are working alongside our sister centre, the AMRC with Boeing, on this €6 million, three-year project to develop intelligent robots for a range of manufacturing tasks. Funded through Horizon 2020, the Coroma consortium includes 16 international partners from seven countries. We will demonstrate applications for large reactor components by combining a range of techniques on our Soraluce FX12000 machining centre.

 

Recently completed collaborative projects include:

  • McScamp – we led this €350,000, 18-month project to develop machining techniques to reduce the risk of component failure over a reactor’s lifetime. McScamp was funded by Nugenia and also involved Areva and the Estonian University of Life Sciences’ Institute of Technology. The Nuclear AMRC studied the root causes of stress corrosion cracking in nuclear steels, and investigated advanced machining techniques such as dry machining and cryogenic cooling which can significantly improve surface integrity.
  • PowderWay – we led this €360,000, 18-month project, funded by Nugenia, to investigate powder metallurgy techniques for nuclear components. Partners included Areva, EDF, PNB, CEA and Swerea. PowderWay assessed the potential for powder-based processes such as hot isostatic pressing, additive manufacturing and spark plasma sintering in the civil nuclear sector, and established a strategy to move the most promising techniques into commercial production.