Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a British postgraduate and research-based university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management. It’s one of the top five UK research-intensive universities and works closely with industries. It has four schools, which are Cranfield Defence and Security (Shrivenham campus) School of Energy, School of Environment and Agrifood, School of Mangement, and School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM). It has in total about 1,600 academic staffs and 4,700 students.

The Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre is in SATM. It specialises in fundamental, strategic and applied research in the area of advanced fusion joining processes and high deposition rate additive built structures.

Cranfield University, where research on the wire+arc additive manufacture (WAAM) process is ongoing, developed methods to control microstructure, mechanical properties, residual stress, geometry and structural integrity in Ti-6Al-4V and aluminium alloys (2024, 2319). Such methods relied on global and local mechanical tensioning techniques (pre-stretching, top-surface rolling, side-surface rolling, and pneumatic hammering). Notable achievements include the production of fully isotropic mechanical properties better than all equivalent forged alloys; the elimination of residual stress and distortion; and with particular regards to aluminium the complete elimination of hydrogen-related porosity, even after solution and ageing heat treatments.

Moreover, Cranfield University successfully deposited large structures in tungsten, tantalum and molybdenum, proving that these challenging materials can also be deposited by the WAAM process.

Finally, Cranfield University assisted in the topological optimisation of two APODs.