Advanced Manufacturing

The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory covers teaching, research and consulting in various manufacturing processes including multi-axis CNC machining, flexible manufacturing, metal spinning, laser cutting, high pressure water jet cutting, electric discharge machining, plastic injection moulding, metal cutting, casting, rapid prototyping, extrusion and friction and wear.  There is also a Sustainable Manufacturing (or Life Cycle Engineering) laboratory.

Abrasive Jet Research

Processing and associated equipment

  • Flow abrasive waterjet machine (415 MPa, 6 DoF robot controlled cutting head)
  • Lower pressure waterjet machine (8 MPa)
  • Lower pressure waterjet machine (68 MPa)
  • Abrasive air jet machine
  • Roland MDX-40 Micro milling machine

Research activities and interests

  • Modelling of the jet characteristics and machining performance of abrasive jets
  • Development of new cutting techniques to enhance the cutting performance of abrasive waterjets
  • 3-D cutting of difficult-to-cut materials
  • Abrasive waterjet turning
  • Clearing and stain removal by waterjet and ice-jet in product reuse and recycling
  • Development of abrasive waterjet micro-machining technology
  • Micro-machining (cutting, drilling/piercing, etching and polishing) with micro-abrasive waterjet
  • Micro-machining with micro-abrasive air-jet
  • Mechanisms and models of loose particle erosion
  • Mechanisms of super-finish surface formation in abrasive jet polishing
  • Development of cryogenic ice-jet processing technology
Location: Tyree Energy Technologies Building, Room LG14 Map ref H6
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Prof. Jun Wang
Research Staff: Prof. Jun Wang

Flexible Manufacturing

The Flexible Manufacturing Laboratory consists of a single FMC (flexible manufacturing cell). This cell contains a Deckel Maho 5-axis milling centre, a CNC turning centre, a rapid-prototyping machine (up to 0.1mm accuracy) and a 6+1-axis ABB robot. The robot is mounted on a rail (the +1 axis) and is therefore able to move material between the two machining centres.

The Deckel Maho high-speed machining centre was installed in February 2003. It has 5 degrees of freedom (tool movement), namely 3 orthogonal directions X, Y and Z and 2 rotations, table and spindle axis. All 5 types of motion can be driven simultaneously using complex program control. The CNC program can be generated directly from the School’s CATIA design software.

Ancillary equipment within the cell consists of advanced PLC (programmable logic controller, specifically Siemens S7-300 and 400 PLCs) equipment as well as pneumatic automation equipment (specifically FESTO pneumatic cylinders, linear drives and servo-valves). The cell also has an operational casting facility (up to 1000 deg C).

This laboratory supports research students and final year BE student projects as well as undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Location: Willis Annexe L214 Map
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Dr Erik van Voorthuysen                                                                          

Injection Moulding Research

Equipment and Research Areas

This laboratory provides support for teaching, research and testing in the area of specialised mould design, and small batch production. In addition, extensive research has been carried in the area of recycled plastic moulding. The design and manufacturing of moulds are usually carried out with the CATIA software package and a 5-axis CNC machining centre. The testing of the mould is done on a BOY 15s Injection Moulding machine.

Location: Closed until late 2014 due to renovations
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Prof. Jun Wang
Research Staff: Prof. Sami Kara                                                                                          

Laser Machining Research

Processing equipment

  • Femtosecond laser machine for nano/micro-scale material ablation
  • Nano-second laser machine
  • Hybrid waterjet-laser “cold” micromachining facility

Research activities and interests

The research being carried out in the laboratory involves both theoretical and experimental investigations to understand the phenomena associated with laser processing of materials with a particular focus on developing new technologies and process control strategies for micro-machining with minimum damages to the components by the process. Major areas of current research include:

  • Toward damage-free fabrication of micro-structures
  • Damage-free processing of advanced and bio-materials
  • Micro/nano-ablation of materials using femtosecond/picosecond lasers
  • Laser micro-machining and surfacing for advanced cutting tool manufacturing
Location: Willis Annexe L205 Map
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Prof. Jun Wang
Research Staff: Prof. Jun Wang                                                              

Metal Cutting Research

Major Equipment

  • High speed and high precision 5-axis CNC machining centre with probe measuring capability
  • CNC lathe
  • Computer controlled Electro-discharge machine
  • Roland MDX-40 Micro milling machine
  • Nanopoli-100 Nano-polisher
  • Kistler multiple (3, 4 and 5) component dynamometers and force measurement systems (to <0.002N threshold)

Research activities and interests

  • Analysis of the machining process using continuum mechanics
    • Investigation of material properties during material removal or deformation
    • High speed and high efficiency machining
    • Machining mechanics, tool wear, performance modelling and process optimization
    • Real-time condition monitoring of cutting tools
    • Advanced ceramic materials for cutting tool applications
    • Machining of difficult-to-machine materials
    • High-performance and micro-cutting tool design, analysis and manufacturing
Location: Willis Annexe L204 Map
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Prof. Jun Wang
Research Staff: Prof. Jun Wang                                                        

Precision Measurements

Major equipment

  • Keyence VHX-100k 3D Digital Microscope (35X to 5000X)
  • Computer based surface finish analysers (profilometers)
  • Precision electronical balances (to 0.1mg)
  • Laser interferometer for linear and angular measurements
  • Microscopes with video adapter for electronic imaging and measuring
  • Kistler multiple (3, 4 and 5) component dynamometers and force measurement systems (to 0.001N sensitivity)
  • Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM)
  • Talyrond roundness measuring system
  • Vertex 420 Micro Vision Measuring System
  • Micro-hardness testers
  • Hardness tester
  • Access to various SEM, TEM and AFM etc. at the UNSW Analytical Centre

This laboratory supports the research and teaching in the manufacturing group and the School.

Location: Willis Annexe L214 (CMM), L205 (VK-210), Tyree LG16 Map                           
Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Martyn Sherriff
Academic-in-Charge: Prof. Jun Wang