Ford cars could be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, thanks to a new lightweight rear suspension component, designed by the award-winning Innovate UK project Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System (CLASS), involving WMG at the University of Warwick.
Led by Ford Motor Company, in partnership with WMG, Gestamp Chassis and GRM, the CLASS project consortium developed a new tieblade-knuckle for a Ford Class C vehicle, a key element for the car’s rear suspension.
An optimised design and manufacturing process developed by WMG enabled the researchers to replace the car’s current multiple-piece fabricated steel component with a single moulding - making a weight saving in excess of 4.5kg per vehicle, a 35% saving on the current part.
This will result in CO2 savings over the lifetime of the vehicle, and the technology is appropriate for much wider vehicle chassis and body applications.
In March 2018, the CLASS project won a JEC Innovation Award, in the Automotive Innovation category.
WMG, at the University of Warwick, are the academic research leads in a new £2 million Innovate UK funded research programme that will help create new forms of technological assistance to help drivers to avoid collisions and accidents.
Whilst at WMG, the Committee met with current students, studying on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, who were able to talk to them about teaching quality, tutor support, fees and how their degrees are helping them prepare for the world of work. They also met with students who are working and undertaking degree apprenticeships, paid for by their employers, and wanted to understand how their experiences differ to full-time students, and why they chose this route over a traditional university degree.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure on UK roads is to be advanced, thanks to a new £5.6 million project – funded by Innovate UK – to develop Vehicle-2-Grid (V2G) technologies, involving WMG at the University of Warwick.
For three years from April 2018, the EV-elocity consortium will conduct a project to demonstrate and develop V2G technology across a variety of UK locations, including airports and business parks – with the aim of proving its viability and worth to business and the wider public.
Researchers at WMG, led by vehicle electrification and energy storage expert Dr James Marco, will build a techno-economic model of how V2G will be viable within the UK. A key innovation will be the inclusion of new models of battery degradation within the analysis that will underpin new methods to optimise the vehicle’s battery system.
Dr Marco’s team will also analyse real-world usage data from a range of different electric fleet vehicles as they are used within a V2G context.
The project will break new ground in helping consumers, businesses and infrastructure providers to financially benefit from adapting their charging behaviour and vehicle use.
In doing so, the project will help to further accelerate and incentivise the transition from traditional fuel sources to electric vehicles.
Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have developed a new direct, precise test of Lithium-ion batteries’ internal temperatures and their electrodes potentials and found that the batteries can be safely charged up to five times faster than the current recommended charging limits. The new technology works in-situ during a battery’s normal operation without impeding its performance and it has been tested on standard commercially available batteries. Such new technology will enable advances in battery materials science, flexible battery charging rates, thermal and electrical engineering of new battery materials/technology and it has the potential to help the design of energy storage systems for high performance applications such as motor racing and grid balancing.
If a battery becomes over heated it risks severe damage particularly to its electrolyte and can even lead to dangerous situations where the electrolyte breaks down to form gases than are both flammable and cause significant pressure build up. Overcharging of the anode can lead to so much Lithium electroplating that it forms metallic dendrites and eventually pierce the separator causing an internal short circuit with the cathode and subsequent catastrophic failure.
WMG, at the University of Warwick, is a key partner in the Midlands site helping to deliver a £30 million project by Health Data Research UK, to address challenging UK healthcare issues using data science, which is looking at making game-changing improvements in people’s health by harnessing data science at scale across the UK.
WMG will be part of the “Midlands HDR UK Substantive Site”, which will tackle the challenge of how to make NHS data more useable and accessible for research; and will develop, evaluate and apply appropriate analytical tools to NHS data in real time in order to inform decision making and improve health for both the patient and population. The Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH), WMG will lead the Warwick part of the programme, together with colleagues from Warwick Medical School and Warwick’s Mathematics Institute.
The new high-tech laboratory, measuring 15m by 16m, was lowered into position by WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) at the University of Warwick.
This new facility is funded through the Government’s Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) programme. There are three test modules. The first two provide battery pack testing up to a total power of 1MW, 1200V, 2400A. The third test module provides mechanical testing facilities to enable researchers to fully characterise a lithium-ion cell’s mechanical behaviour over its entire temperature and state-of-charge operating range.
New research led by WMG, at the University of Warwick has found an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries using silicon, by reinforcing the anode’s structure with graphene girders. This could more than double the life of rechargeable lithium-ion based batteries by greatly extending the operating lifetime of the electrode, and also increase the capacity delivered by those batteries.
WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick has created a cutting-edge research, design and skills infrastructure zone in its Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Centre.
Its work is focused on supporting the development of new lightweight steel products as well as building an environment to develop the next generation of experts in this specialist field and can be accessed by SMEs as well as global businesses.
The three-year project has received £1 million of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to buy key R&D equipment and a further £1 million from WMG which includes industry funding.
Cutting-edge technology has brought Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding cake back to life in time for hers and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary, thanks to research by WMG at the University of Warwick.
Professor Mark Williams at WMG, alongside the British Sugarcraft Guild (BSG), employed 3D scanning technology to recreate a full-sized replica of a cake presented to the royal couple on their wedding day in November 1947 – which was almost totally destroyed by vandals in 2015.
The technology was able to accurately scan the cake to within 0.1mm and reproduce a high-resolution 3D model that was then be used to digitally repair the cake.
Analysing the surviving parts of the cake – an intricate 6ft ensemble, consisting of 6 tiers – Professor Williams was able to discover exactly how it was formed, and to determine precisely how to restore its original grandeur.
There were elaborate pictorial panels on each tier of the cake, the moulds of which had been lost through the decades. However, WMG’s engineering technology recreated these images from the wedding cake, and produced new silicone moulds through 3D scanning.