University of Sheffield AMRC Castings unveil largest ceramic shell titanium casting created in Europe

The Castings Group of the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has unveiled the largest ceramic shell titanium casting ever created from a single pour in Europe.

Titanium castingThe casting is a milestone test piece and will become a showcase for development of the AMRC’s titanium casting facility which became operational earlier this year.

The large-scale, near net shape casting is an industrial centrifugal pump housing, used for highly corrosive applications in the chemical and petrochemical sectors. It was poured from a 680kg melt with a 200kg finished part weight.

AMRC Castings’ General Manager, Richard Cook, said: “This test piece is a significant step forward for us and the UK as a whole. We are the UK’s only titanium melting facility and this achievement, sends a clear signal that the country is open for business for large-scale titanium casting.”

“Global capacity for titanium castings, particularly of this size, is scarce – indeed it has actually decreased in recent years, despite growing demand. There is a clear need for this kind of capability and our research and development will underpin the ability for the UK to remain competitive in a global market.”

AMRC Castings is now working towards its goal of pouring over 1000kg of titanium for a 500kg part-weight centrispun casting by May 2018, testing the boundaries and limits of their Retech consumable electrode castings furnace.

The furnace has three interchangeable crucibles capable of melting titanium for castings weighing up to 500kg and 2000mm in diameter by 2500mm in length.

The group is already dealing with enquiries from companies wanting to exploit the technology and are currently conducting paper studies and piloting the first research projects.

Principal Metallurgist, Matt Cawood, said: “The AMRC are currently engaged in several projects looking to improve capability and technology to enable more complex, higher integrity components to be designed for manufacture with improved metallurgical quality and increased dimensional accuracy.”

“Having the ability to pour large-scale castings as part of a research and development activity combined with the surrounding facility of industry-scale equipment and technical expertise is a unique offering that is drawing in many of the world’s largest users of titanium castings to work with us.”

Additional information

About the University of Sheffield’s AMRC
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is a world-class centre for research into advanced manufacturing technologies used in the aerospace, automotive, medical and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

The AMRC has a global reputation for helping companies overcome manufacturing problems and is a model for collaborative research involving universities, academics and industry worldwide.

Combining state of the art technologies with the AMRC’s expertise in design and prototyping, machining, casting, welding, additive manufacturing, composites and structural testing, has created a manufacturing resource far beyond anything previously available in the UK.

The AMRC Factory 2050 is the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.

The AMRC is a member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a consortium of leading manufacturing and process research centres, backed by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The University of Sheffield
With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046
h.postles@sheffield.ac.uk