The research activities of IMAP on high performance metallic materials and composites hybrids and architecture materials often involve an important manufacturing step. Manufacturing in IMAP is performed by various techniques that are widely studied in particular in what concerns the relationship between the process parameters and the generated microstructures or structures. In addition to regular casting, advanced casting (in particular arc melting) and machining (including EDM) the following manufacturing techniques have been a support to research on new material or structures and up to date equipment are available for these:
- Metal additive manufacturing (particularly Selective Laser Melting, SLM) in particular for the study of lattice structures for enhanced lightweight combined with mechanical performance and the development of new metallic alloys adapted for additive manufacturing (aluminium and titanium based).
- Friction stir processing (FSP) develop new metal matrix composite materials (based on aluminium, copper or magnesium) and self-healing metals or mitigate damage in aluminium alloys or SLM parts. Many studies have been performed also on regular Friction stir Welding (FSW).
- Friction Melt Bonding (FMB) is a new process patented at UCL (WO2013164294, 2013) that allows the lap welding of metals presenting large differences in melting temperature (like aluminium to steel).