The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) has significantly expanded its capabilities following the arrival of four state-of-the-art pieces of equipment.
A scanning electron microscope (SEM), a large electrical discharge machine (EDM), an ultrasonic system for residual stress measurement called UltraMars and an emissivity calibration furnace have all been installed at the Renfrewshire based facility.
The new SEM will allow researchers to examine larger and heavier samples, facilitating more electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) work.
Equipped with a hot stage, the microscope can perform in-situ thermal experiments up to 1,000C.
The new EDM and Ultramars have been brought in to support the expansion of the centre’s residual stress offering to customers.
The new EDM system is faster than the centre’s original and can cut through much larger pieces of metal – increasing capacity while boosting workload capability.
The UltraMars is a portable measurement instrument which can be taken to customers’ premises to carry out in-situ residual stress measurement work.
The organisation also recently received delivery of an emissivity calibration furnace from Carbolite, a world leading furnace manufacturer who collaborated with the world-class centre to produce the bespoke apparatus.
Measuring emissivity for numerous ceramic and metallic materials at temperatures ranging from 500 – 1,150oC, the new furnace will allow for more accurate data to be obtained under varying degrees of furnace atmosphere and heat treatment temperature.
Overall, this will increase measurement accuracy and control with non-contact infrared thermometers and thermal cameras.
Speaking about the new equipment, Paul Blackwell, Engineering Director at the AFRC said:
These further additions to our inventory ensure that the AFRC continues to be at the cutting edge of technology in the area of forming and forging.
Our highly-qualified research team will be able to use these state-of-the-art machines to develop even more advanced insight into the metal manufacturing process.
As the number of businesses we work in partnership with expands, this equipment will help to drive innovation and solve problems.”