Dr Simon Graham
His EngD project was on low-cost titanium alloy development, with a focus on the use of iron as an alloying element. By using alternative extraction and processing technologies, such as the FFC-Cambridge process and Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST), it is possible to vastly reduce the number of steps compared to the conventional titanium alloy production route.
His current research focuses on solid-state processing of metal powders, mainly aluminium and titanium alloys, using technologies such as FAST and Conform. This focuses on using powders which are oversize for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), an Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique.
Titanium and aluminium alloy powders, such as Ti-6Al-4V, A20X and Scalmalloy, are produced by gas atomisation and supplied with a particle size range of 20–63 µm for LPBF, for optimal powder flowability and spreadability. The yield of powder particles with diameters 20–63 µm is often 50% or less though, meaning that there are significant quantities of oversize powder. Although the oversize powders can be used in other AM and powder metallurgy techniques, they are in much less demand. Business economics require that alternative processes are utilised to convert these surplus powders into useful products, to ensure that the AM market is cost-effective and meets sustainability targets. Therefore, FAST is seen as a promising alternative processing technology for these powders.