Research impact: Enabling companies to use flow modelling in product design

Computer based flow modelling research, developed at the Schools of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, is enabling companies in the commercial and public sectors to improve their products. This has resulted in improved products for a range of companies in the commercial and public sectors.

Based on theoretical methods of how fluids and gases will flow through a range of systems, the University team has created new ways for companies to access flow modelling data and build it into their design processes.

In a recent collaboration with Swedish machine tool company Sandvik Coromant, Professor Thompson and colleague Dr Jon Summers helped to solve an issue with its high-performance machine twist drills. These precision drills are used in the final stages of manufacturing of high value components, such as composite airplane wings. The high temperatures generated by drilling mean the drill part must be cooled with oil so that it does not break. Previously, huge quantities of oil were used to flood the drill as it works, which is messy and inefficient.

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