Fredrik Forsberg and Pär Jonsén, researchers at Luleå University of Technology.

LTU in collaboration with University of Oxford

Published: 27 February 2013

Researchers at University of Oxford and Luleå University of Technology is working together in order to study the mechanisms in powder material. Powder material is used in many different products, such as medicines, hip replacements, automotive components, and iron ore pellets, all requiring high strength.

The aim of the collaboration project is to develop models how to minimize the industry's problems with cracks that could degrade the strength of the powder materials.

Products of powder material, or so-called granular material,  are composed of small particles of different shape and size, which are pressed together under high pressure. Problems in manufacturing where powder material is used, like cracking and movement in the material, leads to defects in the final product.

- A problem with the powder pressed components is that we can not always see on the surface when it cracks or defects, says researcher Fredrik Forsberg and Pär Jonsén who conducts studies in collaboration with Oxford. With X-ray microtomography, we get the 3D images of what happens inside the material sample when compressed. With pictures as the basis, a material model is developed. After a numerical analysis of the pressing operation, results are compared with the pictures from the X-ray operation. Based on this the material model can be optimized.

Research is conducted in the areas of experimental mechanics and solid mechanics. In time, the studies make it possible to control different properties of powder materials and to industrial applications that minimize problems in manufacturing processes