Students from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing (IMPaCT) at the University of Leicester’s Engineering department have been showcasing their work as the local East Midlands Materials Society (EMMS) to an audience from multiple universities on the 15th March 2017.
The four research students; Adam Allen, Andrew Douglas (IMPaCT), Leandro Feitosa and Huan Qian (IMPaCT aligned) have been congratulated by the president of the local EMMS group for a recent well-received talk on “Additive manufacturing of high temperature materials”.
The presentation focused on their current work developing high temperature alloys based on niobium silicide alloys and using 3D printing as the processing method. The team used a high powered laser to melt metal powders before moving the laser leaving a molten material which solidifies into the new alloy. This allows them to rapidly prototype new materials and overcome the difficulties of casting with high temperature materials.
The team –working in collaboration with Rolls Royce – hopes to develop materials that could be used in the next generation of gas turbine engines. These new alloys are one of the potentials to replace the current material as it is both lighter and can cope with hotter temperatures leading to increased efficiency.