Materials and Manufacturing

Our research in the area of materials and manufacturing concerns material properties and manufacturing processes for cast materials.

Background

Our research is based on experiments conducted both at the university and in the industry. The studies are carried out in areas such as phase transformation kinetics by heat analysis, links between microstructures and mechanical and physical properties, fractography and structural engineering.

The purpose of our research is to develop knowledge about the relation between material composition, melt quality, process, geometry and defect formation as well as their relation to the mechanical and physical properties of the material and the components. This knowledge may than constitute a basis for mathematical modelling and simulation of cast components. Through modelling and simulation, the researchers within materials and manufacturing can examine various phenomena for situations where it is difficult, or even impossible, to carry out relevant experiments. More infomation about the activities in the department can be found here

 

Research areas

Foundry technology

This area deals with how we can develop and control the casting process to get the best possible results. This means that melting and pouring/mould filling are key areas of study, as well as mould materials and their interaction with the melt and the solidifying metal.

Solidification and microstructure modelling

During solidification and subsequent solid phase transformations the microstructure, which gives the material its mechanical and physical properties, is formed. How this occurs, strongly depends on process conditions. The link between process and microstructure is complex. It is described by thermodynamics and kinetic laws, and it is the quantification of this relationship, which are the focus of this part of our research. By studying this link we also learn how materials can be controlled and further developed, either through the casting process alone or in combination with subsequent process steps, such as heat treatment.

Materials characterisation and properties modelling

Materials characterisation deals with the the identification of how the microstructure has been developed and what mechanical and thermo-physical properties the cast material and the final components have.

Within this research area we study how the link between the microstructure and the material properties evolve during the casting process, to be able to describe phenomena such as hot cracks, warping and residual stress build-up for both casting and subsequent process steps. This relationship between microstructure and material properties is then modelled in order to enable designers to predict component properties and behaviour.

The properties of the final component are studied with the long-term goal to determine the life-span of the component. For this, the influence of residual stress, defects, toughness and fatigue properties is of paramount importance.

Surface technology

Surface technology is an area of great importance within our research. It is divided into two subareas – degradation and protection.

Degradation concerns how the material is degraded through corrosion. The corrosion mechanisms are studied using electrochemical methods to establish how process and microstructure affects the life of a component.

Protection concerns the development of protection for cast components. Here we primarily focus on anodizing as a corrosion prevention method. The work also includes the functionalization of surfaces, e.g. making a surface self-cleaning to improve both life-length and aesthetic appearance.

Simulation methodology

This research area involves research and development of simulations of the casting process for the description of a component's local property characteristics. The results from microstructure modelling are implemented into process simulation software to be able to predict how the microstructure varies in a component.

The process simulation capability is in itself valuable for foundries, but the real usefulness is realized only when process simulation is linked together with the mechanical design process. The main focus of this research area is to enable the translation of process simulation results to the description of component behaviour in use. This is the critical step to include the process simulation results into the design and optimisation work.

Content updated 2017-11-15






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