Structures and Manufacturing

Structures and Manufacturing

The Structures and Manufacturing Research Group is multidisciplinary and includes academics addressing a broad range of societal and engineering problems, fundamental and applied. We achieve impact through this integrated approach and by a commitment to collaborating widely with industrial and academic partners, both national and international. 

Our focus on complex real-world challenges means we work with companies including BAE Systems, Qinetiq, DSTL, ITASCA, ESI, 3D Systems (CRDM), Quadra Solutions Ltd, NT CADCAM Ltd, Croft Filters Ltd. A significant portfolio of industrially-driven collaboration in the fields of engineering design and advanced manufacturing, especially with SMEs, is also enabled via both the Lancaster Product Development Unit (http://www.engineering.lancs.ac.uk/business/) and, in the area of sustainable & green technologies, the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (http://www.cgeinnovation.org/)

Our main research areas include:

a) Sensors and Sensing techniques, advanced signal processing and structural health monitoring (Ma, Pinkerton, Ye)

Insulating material degradation diagnosis of power equipment through detection and characterisation of partial discharge activities; Metal flow visualisation by means of electromagnetic tomographic imaging techniques, Eddy current NDT testing and inspection of rail steels and porous metals. Sensors and sensing techniques, advanced signal processing and data mining techniques for structural health condition monitoring; Condition monitoring of machinery for maintenance purposes using thermal and vibration methods; Laser nanoprocessing of Fibre Bragg Gratings for enhanced functionality; Energy harvesting using piezoelectric sensor for health monitoring of green air vehicles.

b) Multifunctional Reactors and Process Intensification for Green Chemical Design(Aiouache)

3D modelling of chemical and biological processes and development of spatially resolved spectroscopic tools for 3D observations of fluid flow, mass and heat transfer trends using lasers and tomography techniques applied to reactors; Development of intensified processes for sustainable chemical processing using green ionic liquids in separation, CO2 rational use and  bio-wastes conversion into liquid or gaseous fuels and into fertilisers; Design of multifunctional reactor using magnetic nanoparticles as nanomixing systems or fast thermal source or transmitter and multifunctional catalysts of dual hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties for treatment of deuteriated and triatiated waste water systems.

c) Laser Processing and Surface Engineering (Pinkerton, Green, Rennie)

Advancing the understanding and efficiency of the laser cladding, laser direct metal deposition (LDMD), selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM) and laser welding processes using experimental, analytical and numerical modelling methods; Understanding factors affecting microstructure and residual stress in additively manufactured parts; Developing new numerical modelling techniques for LDMD using a single CFD domain; Deployment of an affordable cladding process through use of cheaper forms of build materials; Improving operational performance of both SLS and SLM technologies through bespoke hardware adaptations and software modifications; Laser surface treatment of metallic surfaces for enhanced wear and corrosion resistance; Laser formation of porous surfaces to aid biointegration of dental or orthopaedic implants; biotribological performance of structural orthopaedic materials.

d) Composites and composite structures (Turvey, Ye, Pinkerton, Green, Rennie)

Static and dynamic mechanical properties of pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite structures and materials, and developing test methods for evaluating the mechanical properties of their cross-sections; Flexural, torsional, buckling and collapse response of structural components; Collapse of sub- and full-scale structures; Failure of bolted or bonded joints; Multiscale simulation of cracking, delamination and failure of FRP composites; Durability and lifecycle analysis of composites (FRP, reinforced concrete) subject to environmental conditions;  progressive collapse and fire resistance of steel-concrete composite floors and columns; Composite to metal joints utilising selective laser melting technology; The re-processing of waste materials to form new material feedstocks for additive manufacturing, and for composite components in secondary structures; processing of metal matrix composite materials using SLM technology.

e) Multiscale modelling of biological materials and multi-physics problems (Ye)

Multiscale modelling of electric-mechanic contraction of human atrium to develop a 3D anatomical model of the atria with detailed electrical dynamics and mechanical kinematics and use the 3D model to quantitatively predict the impact of some gene mutations, pharmacological interventions and effects of ageing on atrial electro-mechanic behaviors during normal and atrial fibrillation conditions; Multiscale and multiphysics modelling of CO2 capture and storage, hydraulic fracturing.

f) Design, analysis and process / component optimisation (Rennie, Green, Pinkerton)

Design-based functional analysis for manufacturing process selection and component fabrication; Computer aided engineering enabled analysis for single component optimisation, multi-component consolidation and assembly; User-tools for technology selection, multi-technology integration (additive and subtractive processes) and generative design; Medical and healthcare device design and development; Additive manufacturing process improvement (powder bed fusion, extrusion, blown powder).

More information about the Group’s activities can be found on the webpages of individual staff accessible through the "People" tab above, on the LPDU website (http://www.lpdu.lancs.ac.uk/) or the CGE website (http://www.cgeinnovation.org/).