Lathe in a metal workshop.

Improving conventional processing or “Microstructure on Demand”

This programme tackles the first issue in ‘Defining Manufacturability‘, with the reduction of waste in conventional processing through optimisation of microstructure for machining operation.

Basic research at Sheffield has shown that a high degree of subsurface damage is inflicted during high performance machining, but is undetected by conventional surface integrity techniques. Subsurface damage will lead to micro-cracking, which in turn will affect the fatigue endurance limit and thus service performance.

There is a direct correlation with crystallographic texture and susceptibility to sub-surface damage. If the texture orientation of an as-forged part can be determined before machining, then the machining process can be optimised for the billets microstructure, minimising wastage, and improving in-service performance.

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