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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L025213/1
Title: Designing alloys for resource efficiency (DARE)- a manufacturing approach
Principal Investigator: Rainforth, Professor WM
Other Investigators:
Paxton, Professor AT Jackson, Dr M Dunne, Professor FP
van Schilfgaarde, Professor M Goodall, Dr R Rivera, Professor P
Wynne, Professor BP Todd, Professor I Dye, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ArcelorMittal Firth Rixson Magnesium Elektron (to be replaced)
Messier-Dowty Ltd Rolls-Royce Plc Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering Ltd
Siemens plc (UK) Tata Group UK Timet UK Ltd
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 29 September 2014 Ends: 28 September 2019 Value (£): 3,226,486
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Processing
Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 May 2014 DARE Interview Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The manufacturing and processing of metals to form components is one of the largest industrial sectors and accounts for 46% of all manufactured value, with an economic value to the EEA of Euro 1.3 trillion annually. Material security concerns the access to raw materials to ensure military and economic sufficiency. We will face major future challenges as key elements will be increasingly in short supply with consequent price volatility ("the ticking time bomb"). Equally, many materials rely on strategic elements for which supply is not guaranteed, with rare earth elements being the prime example (central to the performance of magnesium alloys). Metals production consumes about 5% of global energy use and is responsible for an annual emission of over 2Gton of CO2, so efficiency in manufacture can produce significant reductions in environmental impact. The recent report "Material Security: Ensuring resource availability for the UK economy" from the TSB noted "the importance of material security has increased due to limited short-term availability of some raw materials, widespread large increases in raw material prices, oligopolistic industry structures and dependence on a limited number of sometimes politically unstable countries as sources of key materials". Furthermore, "The issue of sustainability has attained unprecedented prominence on both national and international agendas, occupying the minds of businesses and governments as never before... Resource efficiency has a key role to play in mitigating wider issues such as depletion of resources, environmental impact and materials security, and it also contributes significantly to the low-carbon economy."

Addressing resource efficiency in metals production and use requires that new metal alloys be developed specifically to reduce reliance on strategic and scarce elements, for recycling and for disruptive manufacturing technologies that minimise waste. The size of the problem is too large to be undertaken by the traditional matrix experiment. Rather, a wide range of state-of-the-art modelling, experimental and processing skills needs to be brought together to target resource efficiency in metallic systems. In the DARE approach we use basic science to come to an understanding of the role of strategically important elements, to design new alloys with greater resource efficiency and to optimise the processing route for the new alloys to give supply chain compression. Unique to the DARE approach is to bring manufacturing into the centre of the alloy design paradigm. The combined themes will tackle key metal alloys, including ultra-high strength, low alloy and nanostructured steel (e.g. for a resource efficient approach to vehicle light weighting to give reduced automotive emissions); titanium alloys and titanium aluminides (e.g. for aerospace applications) and Mg alloys (e.g. in automotive and military applications, for example, cast gear box casings). The research team and their ten industrial partners will deliver actual materials and implementation into industry, moving the resource efficiency agenda from the sphere of policy into the real economy. We will support the growth of the high-value UK speciality metals manufacturing industry by developing and exploiting the DARE approach to the design of alloys that improve the resource efficiency and flexibility with regard to fluctuating material availability of the UK manufacturing economy, addressing the EPSRC grand challenges in transitioning to a low-carbon society. This will help existing UK world-leading industries to expand and manufacture for the future.

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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk