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Ilika announces that it has been awarded a £466,000 grant for research and technology, as part of a lead role in a £2.15 million, 3-year collaborative project with Reliance Precision Engineering, University of Sheffield, GKN and BAE Systems. This follows success in a competition run by Innovate UK on behalf of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), with funding from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.   

The project has two objectives. Firstly, the aim is to develop a new generation of self-healing alloys suitable for additive manufacturing (AM) processes. The second aim is to develop a metallic manufacturing process that takes advantage of the flexibility of AM and the precision of subtractive manufacturing. This will pave the way for the manufacture of novel components with critical feature tolerances, meeting the challenges faced in the design of mechanisms for the aerospace industry with lower weight, structural integrity and functional performance.

This project aligns the UK’s aerospace supply chain, demonstrating a clear commercialisation route. The proposal was selected for funding from submissions made to Innovate UK’s competition, in partnership with the ATI and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, titled “Building UK’s Leadership in Aerospace Technology.”

Commenting on this latest development, Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, said: "Additive manufacturing methods hold great promise for the rapid, cost-effective provision of complex components. One of the barriers to the wider adoption of the technology is the availability of alloys suitable for this manufacturing method. Ilika’s proprietary high throughput techniques allow us to address this challenge in a unique and cost effective manner. The funding, supported by the ATI and Innovate UK, has enabled us to create a unique consortium and we look forward to a close and fruitful collaboration with our project partners."