Joint collaboration between M Wright & Sons, CMT and Ford
The 3DS division of M Wright & Sons Ltd (MWS) together with Composite Metal Technology (CMT) and Ford Motor Company (Ford) are pleased to announce success in attracting funding for a £1.6m programme of work from Innovate UKs Materials and Manufacturing funding call round 2.
The project entitled “New gravity die-casting process for the volume production of components reinforced with aluminium matrix composite inserts” will address the remaining inhibitors to widespread adoption of metal matrix composite (MMC) reinforcement of aluminium components by reducing piece cost, increasing quality and enabling higher production volumes.
The programme will aid the development of a new manufacturing process for the production of aluminium castings locally reinforced with long fibre aluminium matrix composite (AMC) materials. This localised reinforcement will lead to reduced weight and bulk and improved stiffness in the aluminium component.
During the course of the programme CMT will deliver a new gravity die casting process for AMC-reinforced components, leading to higher production volumes, improved quality and reduced cost compared to the current sand casting process.
MWS will facilitate this development with novel 3D fibre preform designs, manufactured using a new adaptive weaving system that will allow flexible transverse reinforcement of preforms, modelled according to the performance requirements of the component. These developments will be demonstrated via the manufacture of a redesigned prototype powertrain bracket, with reduced weight and bulk, increased stiffness and improvements in noise vibration and harshness (NVH) in comparison with the standard aluminium component