Hipsmart

Near Net Shape manufacturing is an innovative concept in industrial manufacture which is being increasingly employed in a wide range of high value manufacturing sectors.

Temperature and Pressure activated consolidation of powder though Hot Isostatic Pressing is considered to be a high performance alternative to conventional processes e.g. forging, casting and machining.However its application is limited by the cost and complexity of the shells that can be fabricated for use in the HIP process. It has been suggested that most HIP structures are made by billet HIP & then up to 80% machined away. A novel process for producing low cost ferrous shells for Net shape HIP application is proposed in the project. The project will develop an innovative low temperature ferrous electroplating process based on wax castings from the precision casting industry. This project provides an enabling technology to expand the use of netshape HIP into more complex geometry components and consequent improvements in material properties associated with the isostatic powder metal properties.

The principal stages of the project are; to research and develop the labscale ferrous
electroplating; to scale this process up and develop controlled process for shell production; to produce representative, practical shells for HIP trials and to undertake initial HIP trials with the shells; an assessment of the cost/performance characteristics of the process. The timeliness and potential demand for the process capability have been supported by a broad range of leading manufacturing research organisations and high value manufacturing companies.