experts in Cardiff University's award-winning Manufacturing
Engineering Centre (MEC) have created a vital component
so small, it was previously believed impossible to produce.
"This achievement is at the leading edge of world
engineering practice," said Dr Stefan Dimov of
the MEC. "We have seen research papers from Japan
which suggest the Japanese are working along similar
lines, but we have not seen any evidence of their work
renowned mould-makers and precision engineers, A F
Gaskin of High Wycombe, set the MEC the task of machining
a tiny coring pin to fit into a mould tool. The pin
had to be 1mm in diameter at one end narrowing to
just 0.15 mm at the other.
create the pin, the Cardiff team used their expertise
to employ a multi-axis wire erosion machine (EDM )
that uses a thin steel wire of 0.02mm – just a quarter
the thickness of a human hair - to erode metal.
Forde, Sales Director at A F Gaskin, said: "We
were pleased with the pin that the MEC provided, it
meant that we were able to demonstrate to our prospective
customer that their requirements could be met – something
of which they were unsure at the outset."
Evans, Business Development Manager at the MEC, added:
"We have been able to show that micro-sized features,
which were previously dismissed at the design stage,
can actually be produced."
Contact: Frank Marsh
Cardiff University, UK