The School of Metallurgy and Materials Science is offering materials expertise to West Midlands manufacturers through the AMCASH project.
AMCASH – Advanced Materials Characterisation and Simulation Hub – is a part-ERDF funded project that assists small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tackle materials related challenges, to improve their products and processes. This assistance is completely free to qualifying SMEs.
The project offers expertise in composites, and a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics and ceramics and supports SMEs throughout the product development process:
- Microstructure evaluation
- Mechanical testing
- Thermal analysis and
- Computer simulation and modelling
Plastics testing capabilities include: optimum thermal processing conditions, mechanical properties such as tensile strength and friction, additive blending and the effects on materials’ properties, stability and degradation studies through thermal and chemical testing.
The School’s microscopy facility has capability to measure at nano, micro and macro scale to support metals (and a range of other materials). Microstructure analysis includes characterisation of joints and welds, chemical composition analysis, surface engineering, fault detection and failure analysis, and more.
Ceramics Support includes advanced processing and characterisation: desk research around markets and market trends, refinement and optimisation of processing conditions including sintering, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties and more.
Through simulation and process modelling AMCASH can support SMEs to developing their understanding of materials and processes. AMCASH applies process, structural and materials properties modelling, using finite element (FE) and other software to predict shape, deformation, temperature, stress and strain during processing. SMEs can also widen their understanding of materials, manufacturing and thermal processes through monitoring, with high speed camera and thermal equipment.
What do the SMEs say?
“Working with the university has brought many benefits – their help is critical to enabling us to ensure that we have a design that is robust enough for everyday use, advising on suitable materials, helping to understand the extent of the safety benefits that the design may accrue and working with us to focus on the overall design of the product.” – BJ Plastics Ltd