£15m funding allows phase II of metal casting at Brunel

Prof Zhongyun Fan, professor of metallurgy, and founder and director of BCAST at Brunel University.
The UK government has awarded £15million funding to Brunel University, London, to fund a second phase of the new Advanced Metal Casting Centre.

This next step will focus on processes and innovations that work in the laboratory but fail to achieve their potential on the factory floor. Funders agreed there is compelling evidence that the casting industry has neither been able to conduct high-level research and development by itself nor has it been previously supported by adequate academic research in UK universities.

The funding will complete the AMCC's range of factory-level metal casting/processing facilities and establish supporting research facilities for developing advanced metallic materials. It will also underpin component performance testing and create a suite for process modelling and simulation.

Prof Zhongyun Fan, professor of metallurgy, and founder and director of BCAST at Brunel University, proposed speeding up industrial implementation by providing evidence of successful transition to the demands of factory-scale production.

The new centre will conduct high quality research on nucleation, liquid metal engineering, the development of advanced materials and more efficient casting/processing technologies. The size of the funding indicates the importance of casting technology to every sector of UK manufacturing across automotive, aerospace, defence, energy and general engineering.

The long-term intention is to establish a National Metals Research Park on Brunel's campus to accelerate take-up of new technologies and be an integral part of revitalising the UK manufacturing sector in support of economic growth.

The funding comes from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKPRIF) administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). UKRPIF supports large-scale projects that attract substantial co-investment from private sources, building on the research excellence in the higher education sector.

Phase I of the AMCC is sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Great Technologies capital programme, Brunel University London, and a number of industrial partners.

Caroline Hayes

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