The U.K. government is making a new investment in light metal research at the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), an academic research center at Brunel University London. The Future Metallurgy Centre is chartered to develop new casting technologies and "next generation" aluminum and magnesium alloys for automotive and aerospace applications.
BCAST was established in October 2002, and now has over a staff of more than 60 (academics, research fellows, postgraduate research students, technicians) and works on projects ranging from intensive shearing to direct chill casting, to recycling and Molecular Dynamic Simulations of interfacial monolayers.
The new Future Metallurgy Centre will be developed following a £16-million (about $20 million) grant from The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), announced last month by Chris Skidmore, Minister for Universities, Science and Innovation. That investment is to be matched by £40 million (est. $49 million) pledged by industrial partners, including Constellium, Chinalco, Aeromet International, Grainger & Worrall, and Innoval Technology.
“We are very pleased with the £16-million UKRPIF funding,” stated Professor Zhongyun Fan, BCAST director. "The completion of the Future Metallurgy Centre will consolidate our international, leading position in metallurgical research and provide an effective support to the U.K. metals industry.”
In addition to building the Centre’s facility at the planned Advanced Light Metals Research Park (ALMRP) at Brunel University London, Fan will invest the UKRPIF funds in analytical instruments to evaluate advanced metallic materials.