Diffusion bonding is a welding technique whereby similar or dissimilar metals can be fused through the application of heat to create new structures. During the process atoms diffuse across the edge of two separate metals to create a solid state joint. This form a very strong joint between different metals without deforming them and so can be used to bring together physically and chemically different metals in a wide range of applications. These include aerospace fabrication, heat exchangers, laminate die tooling and cellular material fabrication to name just a few.
The current processes used are time-consuming and expensive. With such wide spread application, a simpler, cheaper and quicker method has the potential to open up a whole host of new opportunities leading to rapid advances in technology.
Professor Richard Hall, Director of Research, Innovation & Impact at the University of Derby, said: "This invention was borne out of a combination and integration of technologies, people and expertise. Between us we have more than 20 years' experience of hot working and joining of performance materials, and worked with a partner (Ajax Tocco) who had a non-contact heating process. The idea couldn't have worked without computer simulation to aid the development process. We are seeking to demonstrate further prior to seeking further investment to commercialise."