Our platform research themes focus on two key scientific and technological areas which are essential to delivering our vision – ‘Powders by Design’ and ‘Process by Design’. Together with our cross cutting research themes, they provide the enablers to our Grand Challenge themes.

Powders by Design (P1) 

Powders are currently not well enough understood to easily enable consistent manufacture via powder processing routes. Granular media are complex non-equilibrium systems; their collective behaviours and interactions with external forces and stimuli are highly non-linear. The traditional descriptors for powders - morphology, surface area, particle size distribution, compressability and flowability – all fail to adequately describe their overall complexity as a system. Our focus here is on our powder starting materials and developing a systems level approach to describing their behaviour.

Process by Design (P2)

Powder processes are currently considered a black box and suffer from low manufacturing throughput. A lack of clear process control also results in a high incidence of component rejection due to manufacturing defects. Innovative processing, control and modelling approaches from cross-cutting themes X1-3, will be developed and applied to processes including powder bed additive manufacturing (AM) and spark plasma sintering (SPS).