Technology & Engineering
Additive Manufacturing Technique for Producing Nano-Engineered Metallic Components
Recent advances in nanotechnology and the understanding of materials strength have led to a paradigm shift in understanding – nano-scale microstructures produce significantly stronger materials, even using pure metals. For example multiple nano-layers of Cu and Ni have demonstrated a strength significantly beyond the properties of the bulk component materials.
In order to exploit this commercially, a novel additive manufacturing approach to create components with ‘lengthscale engineered’ properties has been developed. It is based on standard electro-forming approaches and a series of different materials systems have been identified and tested to define the range of potential material properties that could be obtained. These include systems that retain their strength to high temperatures because of their microstructural design. Queen Mary has created a spin out company Ultima Forma to commercialise this technology.