Project: Giving new life to scrap metals by advanced manufacturing

Giving new life to scrap metals by advanced manufacturing

Three-year Deakin University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (DUPRS) covering tuition fees and an annual stipend of $28600 (tax-free) available to outstanding domestic and international applicants

Supervisor names and emails

Dr Buddhika Abeyrathna

[email protected]

A/Prof. Matthias Weiss

[email protected]

A/Prof Daniel Fabijanic

[email protected]

Prof. Bernard Rolfe

[email protected]

Project description

Light weight alloys such as aluminum and magnesium are increasingly used in the automotive and aerospace industries. There is a need for recycling scrap material such as swarf from machining and other processes. Current recycling processes have a low material yield rate, reduce purity during remelting and require significant energy. On the other hand, current component manufacturing processes are inflexible and produce a lot of material waste. Therefore, to make automotive and aerospace manufacturing sustainable new and flexible manufacturing technologies need to be developed that combined low waste with material re-use. IFM is well placed to perform leading research in this space. There is access to a world-first Flexible Roll Forming (FRF) facility that enables the low costs and flexible manufacture of long components relevant to the automotive and aerospace industries with almost now waste.  IFM is also the only research institution in Australia with access to MELD, a new solid-state metal additive manufacturing process. MELD enables the elevated temperature friction-based lay-by-layer deposition of a solid rod feed material onto a deposition plate. It can deposit scrap aluminum and magnesium swarf and recent studies by the Ford Motor Company (US) have shown that the technology allows deposition of stringers and other structural features on sheet metal. Therefore it is expected to combine two advanced manufacturing processes to produce complex geometries for automotive applications.

Project aim

This PhD project aims at combining IFM`s FRF with MELD processes to develop new value added and weight optimized, multi material components that partly use recycled metal. Widespread application of FRF is currently limited due to wrinkling issues that occur in the flanges of formed components. One solution to overcome this issue could be to locally strengthen critical forming area by local MELD depositions to overcome such shape defects in the FRF process. Therefore, the impact of the proposed project is high since it broadened the applications of both technologies by adding circular economy principals

It is expected to achieve following milestones through the given methodology.

  1. To establish the optimum deposition condition.

A set of experiments will be carried out with different levels of process parameters such as tool rotational speed, transverse speed, feed rate and layer thickness to find the optimum conditions  

  1. To understand the fundamentals of warping effect after deposition and to implement a method to overcome it.

Heating and cooling cycles will be investigated to understand the reasons for the warping effect and possibility to form out the warping effect in the follow up FRF operation will be considered.

  1. To establish a method to obtain the maximum bonding strength

A shear test will be introduced to evaluate the bonding strength of the base metal and the deposited metal interface. The optimum deposition condition is achieved with respect to the maximum bonding strength.

  1. To identify the component complexity that can be achieved

Based on the output of the above milestones, a set of part families will be identified that can be manufactured with the proposed combined advanced manufacturing techniques.

Get in touch for more information

Buddhika Abeyrathna
Institute for Frontier Materials
Phone: +61 3 524 79567

Email: [email protected]