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University of Warwick
T:   024 7652 2524
W:   Additive Layer Manufacturing

Research Interests

Additive Layer Manufacturing; Rapid Prototyping; Rapid Tooling; Novel Coatings; Materials Development; Advanced Ceramics Synthesis and Processing


Dr Gibbons, an Associate Professor, gained a BSc and a PhD, both in Physics, at Warwick; his PhD studies focussing on the sol-gel synthesis and characterisation of organic-inorganic interpenetrating network polymers for encapsulation of electronic devices. After a period of post-doctoral research at Warwick, he left to become a patent editor with intellectual property firm Derwent Information in London.

In 1997 he returned to Warwick as a Research Assistant working on the EPSRC funded project IMI Spray Mould, developing tooling for composite component manufacture for the automotive and aerospace industries.

As Senior Research Fellow, his tooling research continued under three EPSRC funded projects namely, Rapid Die Cast Tooling by Laminating (RADICAL), Coatings and Processes for Sustainable Upgrade and Repair of Tooling (CASPUR) and Flapless Aerial Vehicle Integrated Interdisciplinary Research Project (FLAVIIR). RADICAL delivered a solution for low volume die-cast prototyping for the automotive industry (GKN Automotive, Rover Group). CASPUR was also automotive facing, and investigated the application of hard coatings to soft (aluminium), and delivered an industrially relevant and capable tooling process, evaluated within the Ford Motor Company. Within the FLAVIIR project, supported by the Aerospace sector (BAE Systems), he developed a low cost tooling technology for the affordable manufacture of high quality carbon fibre composites.

Since 2006, his research focus has been primarily on the processability of materials via Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) techniques. This research has been very much driven by industry requirements, investigating the relationships between material feedstock composition and morphology upon the characteristics of the ALM processed components. The research has primarily been based around the laser melting and electron beam melting of materials, and has been targeted at a number of different industry sectors including defence, biomedical and autosports.

Research topics have included the ALM processing of high density metals and alloys, shape memory alloys, and ultra-light polymer-ceramic composites. Validation of material properties for the laser melting of titanium alloys has been the focus of his recent research within the autosports sector. This research was one of the first published studies to demonstrate the efficacy of laser melted Ti 6Al 4V alloy for use in a critical application. The microstructure, composition and mechanical properties were validated, using test procedures defined by the F1 sponsor.

Current research activities include the development of materials and processing conditions for the laser melting of high temperature resistant nickel matrix composites for aerospace and power generation applications, and the development of a novel ALM process and materials for the high speed manufacture of ceramic components.

Dr Gibbons is responsible for the mentoring of student projects within the field of ALM processing of materials (metals, ceramics and polymers), at undergraduate, masters and postgraduate level.

Dr Gibbons is also a member of the EPSRC College and a committee member of the Additive Manufacturing Association.

Research Projects

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View All Publications

Post Graduate Supervision

  • Developemnt of a laser printing based additive manufacturing technique for complex 3D technical ceramic component Date of Completion:2013
  • Laser Melting of Nickel Based Metal Matrix Composites for Aerospace Applications Date of Completion:2013