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Metals have long played an important part in the advance of technology. Indeed, in many instances the development of a suitable metal alloy has been pivotal in realizing the advance. Each new technological development brings a new set of metal performance requirements and continual metallurgical innovation is required to meet these demands. At Deakin, we are developing new light metal alloys and novel ways of producing them. We are also working on the next generation of automotive steels and in producing new porous metallic implants. To complement this work, we are developing new surface technologies to optimize performance.
The next generation of automotive steels will be composed of complex multiphase structures with engineering nano-components for superior performance. However there are many challenges in the production and control of parts made from these grades. The Deakin group is exploring new refined multiphase structures and ways of producing them.
The 'light' metals are aluminium, titanium and magnesium, in order of degree of use. Titanium promises the strength of steel without steels tendency to rust but is far too expensive for most non-medical and non-military applications. Magnesium promises the least density but is very difficult to form at room temperature without cracking. These are some of the issues the group aims to solve.
Ideally, implant materials should take on the properties of the bone they aim to replace. This is best done with porous metals and the Deakin group is developing new porous alloys to meet this challenge. The possibility of using metals in a gaseous state is also being explored.
The surfaces team at CMFI is involved in developing new surface treatments for metals and polymers, understanding the performance of traditional and advanced lubricants, investigating wear and friction in manufacturing processes and characterising surfaces
In all these efforts, the group relies heavily on the development and use of new methods of mathematical and mechanical simulation.