The University of Sheffield AMRC will lead a new £6 million European-funded project to develop an advanced lightweight alloy for the aerospace industry.
The MMTech project involves manufacturers and research institutions from across Europe, including two small companies from the Sheffield city region’s advanced manufacturing cluster.
The project will develop new ways of working with an advanced material called gamma titanium aluminide. The Nuclear AMRC will work alongside its sister centre, the aerospace-focused AMRC with Boeing, to apply techniques such as laser cladding to the alloy.
“Titanium aluminide is very light and strong, particularly at high temperatures, which makes it a very attractive material for aeroengine components,” says Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC. “Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult to use. This project will examine new powder production methods, and new casting, machining and 3D printing techniques.”
The research consortium includes two Rotherham-based SMEs – precision engineer Advanced Manufacturing (Sheffield) Ltd, and technology development specialist Teks Sarl Ltd – as well as industry partners from France, Italy and Spain.
The project will also involve specialist researchers at the University of Strathclyde and Imperial College London in the UK, and Mondragon University and the IK4-Ideko research centre in Spain.
MMTech is funded (pending due diligence) by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for industry-led research and development. AMRC has previously led European-funded projects to develop innovative technologies including metals additive manufacturing for aerospace, environmentally-friendly manufacturing techniques for composites, factory design and advanced assembly technologies.