Laser material processing is a multidisciplinary subject, covering multi-physical processes such as thermal, mechanics and optical modelling in multi-scales.
At the Centre we perform advanced modelling to support experimental works and to delve into the deep science of the process. We focus on four research areas, each allocated to a dedicated team with specialist skills in the appropriate fields:
Additive and shaping processes
The team specialises in additive manufacturing using Laser Direct Metal Powder Deposition and Wire Deposition techniques. Current projects develop these processes and apply them to high performance nickel and titanium alloys. We are currently working under EPSRC and EU FP6 grants to model microstructure and stress control in LDMD, develop wire deposition and coincident wire-powder processes and examine ways of improving the efficiency of the LDMD technique as a manufacturing and repair tool.
Computer simulation and modelling
Laser material processing is a multi-disciplinary subject, covering multi-physical processes such as thermal, mechanics, optical modelling in multi-scales. The team performs advanced modelling to support experimental works and also to delve into the deep science of the process.
Cutting, drilling and welding
Lasers are used in a vast range of cutting, drilling and welding applications. Material removal by laser has important advantages over traditional mechanical processes including small kerf width, small cut taper, minimal heat affected zone (HAZ) and the ability to drill high aspect ratio holes in hard materials. The team is looking at a range of cutting and drilling processes of particular interest to the aerospace industries, including welding of dissimilar metals and laser drilling of cooling holes in aerospace components.
Micro, nanoprocesses, nanophotonics and metamaterials
Micro (one millionth of a metre) and nano (one thousand millionth of a metre) processes have immense potential to revolutionise future engineering, medical and computing processes. At present, there is intensive research into controlling and manipulating nanostructured materials and particles. Many processes are still at a proof or concept stage and research is also helping to gain a fundamental understanding of atomic scale processes. Project work includes: optical nanoscope, particle lens nanopatterning, laser cleaning, surface enhanced raman scattering, single molecule sensing, modelling of laser cleaning, modelling of laser cutting, modelling of laser surface treatment.