Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: University of Huddersfield
Dates: Apr 2006-Mar 2011
Summary: In many industries the shape of the surfaces in manufactured objects are becoming much more complicated having almost any designed shape and often have no symmetries at all: particularly rotational symmetry. These latter geometrical surface shapes are termed freeform surfaces.
Three important classes of freeform surfaces are: surfaces that include steps and edges (e.g. Fresnel lens); surfaces that have a tessellated pattern (e.g. micro-lens array); and smooth surfaces with nano-scale texture and macro-scale size and shape (e.g. telescope mirrors, photovoltaic panels). These freeform surfaces require sub-micrometer form accuracy and nano-meter surface topography.
Ultra-precision multi-axis freeform machining is an enabling technology that allows the designed freeform surface to be fabricated. However, poor freeform measurement has led to a loss in manufacturing accuracy, surface performance and limited the types of possible freeform surfaces. This has driven up the cost of freeform systems, as more performance is demanded.
The research created knowledge in the classification of freeform surface types, developed measurement and characterisation approaches, and instrumentation to resolve these measurement problems. The exciting aspect of this research work is the utility and huge variety of applications on the cutting edge of manufacturing and measurement technology.
The technology developed in this fellowship was transferred to industry through international and national conferences, and published in refereed technical journals. The research will also form the basis of international standardisation of freeform surface methodologies. By the very nature of the industries involved (UK optics, precision mould and injection moulding industry, instrumentation manufactures metrology companies, bio-industry and aero-engine manufacturers), improved freeform methodology will have significant economic benefits to the UK and social benefits to end users worldwide.
Scheme: International Incoming Fellowships
Dates: Sep 2005-Sep 2006
Summary: This project summary is not available for publication.