Faraday partnership provides boost for powder process manufacturing

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is one of the core partners in a new Faraday Partnership for Rapid Manufacturing through Powder Processing announced on 5 September by Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt. 'Faraday Partnerships play a vital role by helping firms to work in close collaboration with the best researchers to produce innovative new products and processes' said Hewitt. 'They make the most of developments in science and innovation crucial to raising productivity.'

Over 60% of all industrial products involve powder materials and processing, so the ability to produce such materials and manufacture them into successful structural components is critical to a wide range of industries and markets. From a PC disc reader to a machine cutting tool, a dental filling to a watch case, the range of applications involved is extremely broad. Nevertheless, the advanced ceramics, powder metallurgy, magnetic materials and hardmetals sectors have characteristics in common, and it is here that opportunities exist for the development of new manufacturing routes, the use of nanopowders, the manufacture of novel functional and structural components, and for environmentally sustainable products with low waste.

The partnership will develop a single network of companies, associations and universities uniting the powder processing sector and allow common problems to be identified and addressed. Collaborative research projects will be developed, with the emphasis on co-operation rather than competition. New technologies will be demonstrated in industrial applications and disseminated through case studies. The research and development programme will address:

  • Faster and flexible net shape manufacturing
  • Achieving greater product consistency
  • Reduction in lead times
  • Synthesis, handling and forming with finer particle sizes and nanopowders
  • Development of alternative materials

The core partners are CERAM Research, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Birmingham, Loughborough and Manchester/UMIST universities, the European Powder Metallurgy Association, the British Hardmetals Association, and the National Physical Laboratory. Over 50 companies have already agreed to support the partnership, including a significant proportion of SMEs and several OEMs which will benefit technology translation up and down the supply chain.

Notes for editors

  1. General information about the Faraday Partnerships Initiative is available on www.faradaypartnerships.org.uk.
  2. The Rapid Manufacturing through Powder Processes partnership is managed by a Supervisory Board, chaired by Dr Bernie Rickinson, Chief Executive of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. The Director of the Partnership will be Dr John Liddle, currently General Manager of CERAM Technology Ltd.
  3. For more information about the Faraday Partnership for Rapid Manufacturing through Powder Processing, contact Dr J Liddle, Project Director, CERAM Technology Ltd, Queens Road, Penkhull, Stoke on Trent ST4 7LQ. Tel 01782 76444, Email:John.Liddle@ceram.com
  4. Photographs of powder processed components in various applications are available from Nuna Staniaszek on 020 7451 7320, email Nuna.Staniaszek@iom3.org

More information:
Nuna Staniaszek, Head of Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 7320


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