Sir Henry Royce Institute -Sheffield Equipment

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


Metallurgy and metals processing is going through period of rapid change driven by the need to improve their performance in-service but also by the socio-economic drivers of reducing process waste and emissions. To address these challenges the overall objective of the Advanced Metals Processing theme is to establish a world leading facility for metals discovery, processing, characterisation, upscaling and manufacturing, with a view to creating a link through to the digitally integrated, sustainable and resource efficient factory of the future. The focus will be on metals process innovation in the "missing gap" between small-scale laboratory metals processing and the industrial scale. It will address the key themes of materials discovery, resource efficient materials manufacture, light weighting, flexible manufacturing, prototyping and production scale-up.

Planned Impact

The manufacturing and processing of materials to form components is one of the largest industrial sectors. In metal processing it alone accounts for 46% of all manufactured value, with an economic worth to the EEA of £1.3 trillion. Metals production consumes about 5% of global energy use and is responsible for an annual emission of over 2Gton of CO2, so efficiency in manufacture can produce significant reductions in environmental impact. There are many market sectors in the UK where metals production is paramount. For example, there are 1.5 million cars produced in the UK each year. The automotive sector is an exemplar of metals in competition, with the principle driver being a reduction in weight. New high strength steels compete with the latest aluminium alloys and wrought magnesium alloys will increasingly become competitive. In the automotive sector, 2020 fleet average emissions targets of 95 g/km will be superseded by ~ 60 g/km by 2050. The same issues apply in the aerospace sector. For a commercial aircraft, every Kg of weight reduction saves £300 in fuel costs. The consequence is that exponential growth in the use of Mg, Al and Ti is predicted in the drive towards light weight design. Airbus forecasts a doubling of the world aircraft fleet by 2030, but this must be realised with targets of 75% reduction in fuel burn by 2050. A key component of this will be the need to introduce new light weight materials. Thus, the move towards low carbon technologies will rely heavily on the invention of new materials that are stronger, lighter, requiring less material to the used for the application, and have lower manufacturing carbon footprints. They must also feed into more efficient component design, work in multimaterial systems, and manufacture, with extended component lifetime and be recyclable at the end of life, implying a minimised whole life-cycle carbon footprint.
Description We have determined the optimum processing conditions for additive manufacturing of aerospace components that allows the mechanical properties to be maximised. We have optimised a steel microstructure to be resistant to hydrogen embrittlement that is used in automotive applications to light weight. We have developed a new magnesium alloy that has minimum crystallographic texture that can therefore be formed into the required shape for automotive applications.
Exploitation Route The equipment purchased is a national facility that will boost the research of a wide range of researchers across the UK.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

Description The equipment is fundamental to the development of the Additive Repair programme within Rolls-Royce. In addition, the GKN have extensive research programmes that use the Henry Royce equipment.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

Description INTEGRADDE - Intelligent data-driven pipeline for the manufacturing of certified metal parts through Direct Energy Deposition processes
Amount € 16,999,328 (EUR)
Funding ID 820776 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
Description Niobium Products Company GmbH 
Organisation Niobium Products Company GmbH
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2002
Description Rolls-Royce 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are developing new alloy variants that will be useable in gas turbine engines. We have an extensive programme in additive repair of alloys used in gas turbine engines. We have an extensive programme of additive layer manufacturing titanium and Ni base superalloy components. We are exploring new Co free stellite alloys for nuclear power based activities.
Collaborator Contribution The supply of considerable intellectual property to the project. A considerable cash contribution to the research. Supply of materials and powders.
Impact A significant number of publications have resulted. Full scale components have been manufactured and tested. Significant advances have been made in the understanding of process optimisation in additive manufacturing.
Start Year 2014
Description Tata Steel 
Organisation Tata Steel Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of new high strength steels for light weighting in the automotive sector Development of thermomechanical process routes for steels New models of thermomechanical processing of steels
Collaborator Contribution Provision of expert knowledge Provision of trial steels in cast and wrought form Access to research facilities
Impact Introduction of new steels for automotive sector- a steel has been patented. New on-line process models
Description Manchester workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A workshop to tell the community of the equipment already received in the Henry Royce Institute and to obtain feedback from the community on the strategy going forward.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018