Research on self-healing alloys for AM

Ilika_logoIlika has been awarded a £466,000 grant for research and technology, as part of a lead role in a £2.15M, 3-year collaborative project with Reliance Precision Engineering, University of Sheffield, GKN and BAE Systems. This is followed by success in a competition run by Innovate UK on behalf of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), with funding from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

The project has two objectives. One is to develop a new generation of self-healing alloys suitable for additive manufacturing (AM) processes. The second is to develop a metallic manufacturing process that takes advantage of the flexibility of AM and the precision of subtractive manufacturing. This paves the way for the manufacture of novel components with critical feature tolerances, meeting the challenges faced in the design of mechanisms for the aerospace industry with lower weight, structural integrity and functional performance.

This project combines with the UK’s aerospace supply chain, demonstrating a clear commercialization route. The proposal was selected for funding from submissions made to Innovate UK’s competition, in partnership with the ATI and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, titled “Building UK’s Leadership in Aerospace Technology.”

The AM methods hold great scope for rapid, cost effective provision of complex components. One of the barriers to the wider adoption of the technology was the availability of alloys suitable for this manufacturing method. Ilika’s proprietary high throughput techniques allows to address this challenge in a unique and cost effective manner.