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Application of non-traditional manufacturing technologies

The application field of non-traditional manufacturing technologies is vast. Our group has demonstrated case studies from medical, automotive space and aerospace, metrology, and electronics sectors.

Automotive application: Drilling holes for the fuel injectors

First machine working in Sonplas GmbH – Germany for the needs of BMW. DELFI (UK) provides samples for tests and tests were successful. The size of the hole along the axis is changeable and only micro ECM process can produce such machining.

Automotive application

Drilling cooling holes for turbine blades

During FP7 MIDEMMA project development this was the targeted application in order to remove the defective layer created by the EDM drilling process in the single crystal blade material. Additionally the new process can create smooth transition between the drilled hole and the intersected perpendicular hole because the shape change is one of the main advantages of this new process. 

Drilling cooling

3D sharpening medical needles according to bio-physical requirements 

Brunel University has been approached to test this new technology in sharpening medical needles for German needle manufacturer through SARIX GMBH Swiss. The present technology uses grinding, and it is restricted to shapes available. Without optimisation of the machining parameters was achieved 10 sec time for machining and surface finish down to Ra20nm.

Typical needle

Photo 1. Typical needle manufactured using convetional grinding technology. This method bring jaged edges  and burnt material at the tip of the needle

Micro ECM technology

Photo 2. Micro ECM technology where the top surface can be 3D shaped depending on the needle application (bio-physical properties). The surfaces are much smoother even the internal surface.

Production of superfine needles and manipulators in micro biology

Tests were done for Radcliff  Hospital OXFORD to prove the capabilities of the new process to produce needles and cell manipulators and the tests were very successful. There was no any defective layer present after machining and the tip size is within the dimension less than one grain size from the needle material. If material is amorphous, the limit of the process is one atom.

 Production of superfine needles

Machining (shaping) semiconductor materials

QMC Ltd requested test cuts for Indium Antimonite (InSb). This is extremely brittle material and any other machining method cannot produce the needed samples. The InSb ‘snake; samples are used to be produced cryogenic sensors for European space program and NASA. Still the only producer.

Machining (shaping) semiconductor

Machining (shaping) of superconductors

The proposed machining technology is the only one known so far which does not create defective layer onto the machined surface and therefore preserves the initial material properties. This makes it unique for machining and shaping superconductors. Test for Cambridge University on room temperature superconductor materials were successful and published.

Gd1Ba2Cu3O6-7 with 10% Ag inclusions super conductor material is underway with highly promising intermediate results.

Machining micro CMM styli 

Machining micro CMM styli where it is required to produce very accurate sphere diameter 50 micrometres, stem 20-30 micrometres diameter and total length of 3mm. There is NO available machining method at present which can do this.

The request is from: IBS Holland and NPL UK

Machining micro CMM

Sharpening glaucoma needles

Sharpness down to one micrometre (0.001mm) cutting edge. Request from Sanoculis Ltd Israel for 150,000 needles per year. Machining time 30 sec. 

Sharpening glaucoma needles