INTERACT: Establishing New Collaborations with China in Advanced Metal Forming and Related Processes (Interact-MetForm)

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University Belfast
Department Name: Sch Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Metal forming is one of the most important branches of manufacturing. With significant advantages of material saving and high production efficiency for a variety of material types and geometry, metal forming has been, and still remains a key competitive manufacturing process for products widely used in aerospace, automotive, machine tools and many other industries. The UK has a long tradition and rich heritage in research and development of metal forming technologies and related processes and is still a world leader in a number of areas, particularly in association with aerospace and energy industries. However, there is a huge challenge for the UK to be pro-active in continuing to provide world-class fundamental research as well as cutting edge technologies, to ensure its support base for numerous leading-edge enterprises. Developing new international collaborations particularly with the major emerging manufacturing countries such as China is surely a farsighted strategy and a useful means to sustain UK research strength on the world stage and to become well equipped for future challenges. By forming a group of established and active UK researchers, the aim of the proposed project is to meet leading researchers and to visit top Chinese research centres and institutes in advanced metal forming and related processes. The universities to be visited are Shanghai Jiao Tong University; HuaZhong University of Science and Technology; Harbin Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University. The key areas of research focus would be (i) new and novel forming processes; (ii) micro forming and material processing; (iii) new tooling design and manufacturing technologies; (iv) responsive process simulation and optimisation. During the visit, a series of carefully planned activities including tours of research laboratories, presentations / seminars and discussion meetings with researchers in host organisations will be arranged so as to share new ideas, to identify common grounds of interest and understanding, and to develop a solid basis for long-term collaborations. Upon completion of the visit, a seminar will be organised to disseminate the results and key findings to an audience of UK university research community and industrial associations so as to foster new and sustainable connections and links with China in wider dimensions.


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