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MAPP researcher Dr Nicholas Weston, University of Sheffield, spoke to Engineering Materials about FAST-forge and how reducing titanium production costs allows a broader range of applications.
Field assisted sintering technology (FAST), also referred to as spark plasma sintering (SPS) or pulsed electric current sintering (PECS), enables a wide range of material powders (including ceramics, metals, and composites) to be rapidly sintered to high densities; often at lower temperatures, for shorter times, and with an improvement in microstructure and/or properties when compared to conventional sintering techniques.
The FAST-forge process produces forged components from powder in two simple steps [1,2].
Metallic powder is shaped into a forging preform using FAST, followed by a one-step precision forge to improve the mechanical properties and fatigue performance of (in some cases) safety critical components for both the aerospace and automotive sectors.
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1. N. S. Weston, F. Derguti, A. Tudball, and M. Jackson, J. Mater. Sci. 50, 4860 (2015).
2. N. S. Weston and M. Jackson, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 243, 335 (2017).
Projects focusing on new technologies & Industry 4.0 processes to revolutionise product design in the aerospace industry. The interdisciplinary approach at the University of Sheffield sees 3 departments from the Faculty of Engineering working with 2 University research institutes and the AMRC on the projects.