Research Areas

Forming processes

This research area is focused on the study of material processing techniques based on plastic deformation. The objective of these techniques is the production and control of taylored microstructures that result in better properties of the final product. This research area comprises three main topics:

  1. Severe plastic deformation, aiming to associate mechanical resistance and ductility in aluminum and copper alloys. Two techniques are investigated by the group: angular channel extrusion and cumulative lamination. In both processes the obtained microstructure is characterized by grain size in the order of nanometers, which results in an important improvement on the mechanical resistance. This research topic includes the measurement of mechanical properties and the thermal stability of the materials, and also the microstructural characterization.
  2. Crystallographic texture control on aluminum alloys. Although the techniques and the basic knowledge related to obtaining a specific crystallographic texture belongs to the area of physical metallurgy, this topic is highly relevant to the mechanical engineer since the plastic formability is the dominant characteristic in the products obtained by severe plastic deformation.
  3. Simulation of the forming process through the finite element method. In this topic, the objective is to numerically predict the obtained microstructure, stress and temperatures of the process depending on the considered boundary conditions.

Surface engineering

The characteristics of piece surfaces that are subjected to mechanical, thermal and chemical loads has been strongly investigated with the aim to increase the efficiency and life-cycle of the products. It is known that the manufacturing process has an important influence on the properties of the fabricated surfaces. This research area is focused on the study of the effects of machining processes in the generation of surfaces with optimized functional performance on situations involving mechanical, thermal and chemical loads. The researches in this area encompass the influence of cutting conditions and the state of the cutting tool on the surface integrity (roughness) and subsurface integrity (residual stress, micro hardness and microstructure) of the workpiece. Surface engineering also aims to develop new techniques to fabricate textured surfaces as well as the methods to analyze them taking into account the wear by corrosion and friction in aggressive environments and the efficiency of the heat transfer during boiling and condensation processes.