Professor Xuanhui Qu and his team from the University of Science and Technology Beijing have received China’s prestigious National Technological Invention Award of the People’s Republic of China for their work on ‘Near-net Shape Manufacturing Technology and Applications of High-performance Special Powder Materials’.
The award was presented at the National Science and Technology Award Conference, which took place in Beijing, January 10, 2020. A presentation event was held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, with President Jinping Xi, Premier Keqiang Li and other leaders in attendance to present prizes to the winning delegates.
According to Professor Qu, high-performance materials play a critical role in the development of cutting-edge technologies, but some of these materials cannot be manufactured using conventional processes such as machining. This greatly limits their effective utilisation and is an obstacle in the development of high-tech applications.
With the increasing demand for lightweighting and miniaturisation, component sizes are getting smaller, while the geometry of components is becoming ever more complex. A further challenge is that conventional machining processes are often financially unviable for the scale-up of micro-sized parts.
Professor Qu and his team have reportedly spent over a decade establishing Powder Injection Moulding processes for a variety of materials including refractory metals, high-performance iron-based alloys and special ceramics. Significant advances were also made by the team in processing technologies such as feedstock fabrication, binder design, sintering and microstructural control.
Thanks to cooperation with leading Chinese MIM firms such as Shanghai Future High-tech Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China, and Jiangsu Gian Tech. Co., Ltd., Changzhou, China, the team has also been able to establish an industry-university-research innovation platform, overcoming challenges in the further industrialisation of PIM and delivering volume production with a high level of process stability, precision and efficiency. As a result, common applications for MIM now include smartphones, fibre-optic communications, laptops, medical devices, electric tools and automotive systems.
Professor Qu and his team have published more than 200 academic papers, authorised over sixty patents, and educated more than 300 post-graduate students.