Application of Electromagnetic Fields for Enhancement of Structural Metal Performance (EMFforMET)

Overview

Lead investigators: Dr A Babutskyi and Dr A Chrysanthou

Supporting investigator: Dr Y Xu

Funding: €278,680

Funding body: EU under FP7 Marie Curie Actions

Period: July 2011 – June 2013

The external parameters that are used in the traditional processing of structural metals are temperature, pressure and time. Previous work suggests that external electromagnetic fields (EMF) may have significant potential for use in materials processing. Experimental data indicate that EMF can influence the microstructure and mechanical properties of materials. Thus, the application of EMF may be a cost-effective technique that may extend the performance of structural components. However, the mechanisms by which EMF can affect materials behaviour are not well-understood and as a result the technique is underexploited.

Two kinds of treatments will be explored in the Project; direct passage of pulsed electric  current (PEC) through metals and the application of a pulsed magnetic field (PMF) or altering magnetic field (AMF) to metals. The Project will focus on the investigation and promotion of the EMF treatment-induced effects on the refinement of A356 aluminium casting alloy and enhancement of the corrosion and wear resistance of titanium, aluminium and copper alloys and steel. The Project aims to understand the mechanisms by which EMF affects materials properties.