Chocolate science and aircraft repair

By 18 December 2019 Nuclear AMRC news

A new video for an international research collaboration into additive repair shows how chocolate can help teach school children about engineering and science.

The video features Dr Rahul Mandal, research associate at the Nuclear AMRC and winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2018. As a Stem Ambassador, Mandal regularly works with local schools to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and maths-based subjects – and welding with chocolate is a great way to get their attention.

The welding and additive manufacturing technologies being developed by the Amos project are rather more advanced, and could be used by the aerospace industry by the time today’s primary school pupils are planning their careers.

The Amos project (Additive manufacturing optimisation and simulation platform for repairing and remanufacturing of aerospace components) is a collaboration between nine companies and research institutions across Europe and Canada, led by the Nuclear AMRC.

Since the project’s launch in 2016, the Amos team have investigated a range of additive manufacturing techniques which combine welding tools with automated control to accurately deposit and melt metal powder or wire. Many of these techniques are already used in aerospace and other industries to build new parts to near-net shape.

Amos has developed these techniques to repair and remanufacture aerospace components such as turbine blades and landing gear. This could significantly reduce the time and cost of maintenance, while reducing material waste and extending the life of expensive components.

The Nuclear AMRC’s additive manufacturing team, headed by technology lead Udisien Woy, focused on additive repair with the aerospace alloy Inconel. The team completed extensive trials using two additive processes – gas tungsten arc welding with Inconel wire, and diode laser welding with powdered metal – and analysed the material performance of hundreds of repairs.

The centre’s inspection specialists also worked with intentionally damaged samples produced by the industrial partners to help develop innovative scanning technologies.

Amos is supported by the European Horizon 2020 programme and Canadian funding agencies CARIC and NSERC. Results from the project will be shared with the supply chain in the new year.