Leading research into adhesive bonding has seal of approval

Monday, 05 June 2017

Aerospace

Mechanical engineering experts at Oxford Brookes are building on their leading research which ranges from the development of compounds for ballistic armour, to the use of adhesives and sealants for the aerospace, automotive and construction sectors.

Professor James G Broughton, Reader in Mechanical Engineering at Oxford Brookes University, is Head of the Joining Technology Research Centre (JTRC) which is recognised as one of the leading establishments in providing industry with access to a unique combination of engineering and scientific skills in the UK today.

Professor Broughton is one of the recipients of the University’s Research Excellence Awards 2016/17. The Awards were launched last year as part of Oxford Brookes’ commitment to supporting research-active academics and in supporting the aims of the recently revised Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2016-2020.

The funding is providing Professor Broughton and his research colleagues with the opportunity to develop new areas of research and forge new international partnerships in order to continue their success.

He talks about their plans.

I am proud that we are one of just a few institutions in the UK that are leading in the field of additives for multi-functional adhesives, but it is important that we keep this momentum going and sustain our research activity in what is a competitive area.

Professor James G Broughton, Reader in Mechanical Engineering, Oxford Brookes University

“Our most recent work has involved a considerable element of materials science and innovation. This includes the development of compounds for ballistic armour, disbonding additive techniques for adhesives and the development of novel test methods for bonding light weight multi-materials with science-based technology company 3M.

“The area of joining, and especially adhesive bonding, is seen by national and international government bodies as key to the exploitation of lightweight materials. This is seen as a globally significant contributor to the reduction of Co2 emissions and energy usage.

“I am proud that we are one of just a few institutions in the UK that are leading in the field of additives for multi-functional adhesives, but it is important that we keep this momentum going and sustain our research activity in what is a competitive area.

“Currently I am forging links with a number of research centres around Europe, US and Japan to develop a European thematic network on dis-bondable adhesives. This work is compatible with other research within our Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (MEMS), including graphite materials for disbonding, potential interphase modelling for developing better adhesive models, exploration of biodegradable resins and natural fibres.

REA logo 2016

“Given the direction of our research and our ambition to stretch ourselves, it is paramount that we build new international partnerships and develop our existing ones. Establishing a thematic network would be a way to achieve this and timely funding from this Research Excellence Award will aid us in doing so.

“We also have the means to fund a Research Assistant to help us develop our existing knowledge, capitalise on the highly specific analysis equipment we currently own and sustain our research activities by producing further developments and publishing the outputs.

“Essentially much of the work outlined will support and strengthen our impact case studies for REF 2020 and beyond.

“For example, it would be an opportunity to build on our award-winning Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Oxford-based engineering company YASA motors. We have enjoyed supporting them with the development of their lightweight electric motors.”