I-Form Research Programme Structure

The I-Form research programme is structured to operate under a ‘hub and spoke’ model. Under this model the ‘hub’ comprises of Platform research, which represents the more basic or fundamental research activities of the Centre. Platform research is focused on advancing the state-of-the-art and developing new knowledge, methods, models, techniques and results that are common to a number of industry challenges and projects. The Spokes focus on industry engagement projects that leverage aspects of the core research. I-Form’s Platform themes coalesce around three fundamental research areas as illustrated below. The demonstrator technology for the Platform research in I-Form is a particular form of additive manufacturing called metal laser-based powder-bed fusion (PBF-LB).

Platform Theme 1, Materials Processing Development is focused on the deployment and evaluation of novel metrology and characterisation techniques for PBF-LB as well as post processing considerations.

Platform Theme 2, Materials Processing Modeling uses materials data, processing data and final part performance data to develop process-specific, multi-scale computational models. A key outcome of this platform will be the development and validation of tools for process-structure-property relationship prediction. This will facilitate off-line and on-line product and process optimisation for PBF-LB.

Platform Theme 3, Materials Processing Feedback & Control builds on the large datasets generated in Platform 1 and the validated models in Platform 2 to develop decision support systems that provide feedback to process and design engineers. These systems will use machine learning techniques to deliver quick feedback and enable faster, more efficient process development and optimisation for PBF-LB.