The Development of Nuclear Manufacturing Techniques for Nuclear Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Materials Science and Engineering


The contribution from the University of Sheffield to the "The Development of Novel Manufacturing Techniques for Nuclear
Applications" project will be on the heat treatment simulator development and validation. This will be undertaken by Drs
Wynne and Jackson in collaboration an Advanced Metallis Systems Centre for Doctoral Training PhD Student, who will be
financially supported by Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited. Thus the aim of the project in its broadest sense is:
Development of a novel test methodology for the rapid assessment of the suitability of materials and heat treatment
processes for large scale, structure critical forged components. This will be achieved by the following four work packages.
Work Package 1: Validate large scale heat treatment machine within the capability of the industrial plant.
This includes optimisation of temperature uniformity, temperature control and identifying heating and cooling rate
constraints inclusive of how sample size may influence this sensitivity. Furthermore material type sensitivity will be
investigated from low carbon steels through to medium NiCrMo steels. (Wynne, Jackson, PhD student, Sheffield
Work Package 2: Validate linkage between simulation and actual component. (PhD Student, Sheffield Forgemasters)
This work package will compare and contrast simulated results, both mechanical and microstructure, with an actual
component. Extreme areas of the as-forged component will be investigated to ensure good variability coverage.
Microstructure at levels above optical, i.e. precipitation density, will be taken thus requiring advanced characterisation
methods such as scanning and transmission electron microscopy.
Work Package 3: Property prediction models (PhD Student)
This work package will focus on developing property prediction models inclusive of the process windows of the plant by
combining thermodynamic modelling and transformation modelling with the data obtained from the machine.
Work Package 4: Alternative materials and process routes (Wynne, Jackson, PhD Student, Sheffield Forgemasters)
This work package focuses on suggesting alternative material and processing strategies leading to enhanced forging
properties at reduced cost and energy used.

Planned Impact

This project has much potential impact for a number of sectors including the metals manufacturing industry, society, and
the nuclear power manufacturing industry.
Metals Manufacturing Industry: The major industrial beneficiary of this research will be Sheffield Forgemasters International
Limited, a UK company at the forefront of manufacture of large scale forgings. They will be able to rapidly validate
numerical models of their process route, leading to enhanced productivity. As a consequence, all their customers will have
enhanced products at reduced costs, due to significant reductions in lead times. They will also gain greater levels of
confidence in incorporating non-standard steel grades with enhanced properties into new components with very thick
sections, leading to greater customer satisfaction and the potential for a greater share of a large global market.
Society: The greater competitiveness and improved efficiencies generated by this project will help maintain the UK's
leading role in the manufacture of large scale steel forgings leading to enhanced employment opportunities and reduction
in green house gases.
Nuclear Power Manufacturing Industry: Components of greater size will be able to be produced with lower risk due to an
optimised heat treatment, which will also allow for production to occur more timely in a cost effective manner.


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Pous-Romero, H (2014) The Prediction of Toughness and Strength in High Integrity Forgings in 19th International Forgemasters Meeting

Description We have developed, in collaboration with Sheffield Forgemasters, a large scale heat treatment simulator. This facility takes thermal history information from specific locations in a numerical model of a heat treatment of a large scale forging or casting and plays it back into a piece of material big enough to do mechanical property analysis. This means we can now give confidence to end users about properties in all locations of a large scale forging without having to make a full scale sacrifical component leading to significant cost savings
Exploitation Route Already being extensively used by Sheffield forgmasters and was a key aspect of getting EP/N508494/1
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

Description This TSB project has built a world unique heat treatment simulator for the simulation of local areas of a large scale forging. A patent will be sought.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic