Stephenson Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NE1 7RU

Gears 2017 – Tour of the Advanced Forming Research Centre

Gears 2017 – Tour of the Advanced Forming Research Centre

Tour Date:  Tuesday 14th November

Time:  3pm


This year’s Annual Technical Awareness Event will be held at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) next to Glasgow Airport.

Delegates are invited to take a guided tour of the globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging research. The centre is one of only seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres in the UK – the only one in Scotland.

As part of the tour, delegates will be taken through the centres two workshops, four laboratories and visualisation suite seeing state-of-the-art industry-scale kit at every stop.

While walking through the centre delegates will learn of the AFRC’s core capabilities:


  • High integrity forging and thermal processing
  • Materials evolution, component resilience and residual stress
  • Near net shape design and manufacture
  • Sheet processing technology
  • Digitalisation, technology planning or processes and supply chains


A few highlights for the Gears community:


Flow Forming:

The centre’s new WF vertical flow former provides the AFRC with more flexibility to transfer R&D work and learnings from the centre’s large scale machine directly to smaller, more complex parts such as those within the automotive sector.  This unique piece of kit was designed to meet the AFRC’s customers’ diverse requirements and enables the centre to cold form intricate components suited to the manufacture of vehicles.


FutureForge will be the world’s most advanced hot forging research platform. It will be a highly instrumented, future manufacturing demonstrator incorporating a 2,000 tonne hydraulic press with open-die, closed-die and isothermal capability. The forge will have a fully integrated next generation manipulator with industry 4.0 instrumentation, data capture and process control.  It will have the ability to process metal parts of around 600mm in diameter.

FutureForge will place the AFRC at the centre of high value gear manufacture research including the development and optimisation of gears for off-highway, aerospace and renewable energy sectors.

Radial Forging:

The latest addition to the AFRC is the £2.3million GFM radial forge.  It is the only machine of its kind available in the UK for R&D and demonstration purposes. The AFRC will use it to trial and prove the viability of new ways of manufacturing parts for automotive transmissions.  Developed specifically for the AFRC, the radial forge will allow manufacturers to try new alloys, and other materials in a range of applications.  Featuring two pairs of hammers, it allows engineers to incrementally develop more complex shapes, improve material utilisation, work at lower temperatures, reduce cycle times and create parts that are nearer net shape.

Residual Stress:

The AFRC’s residual stress measurement and strain mapping lab is capable of measuring surface, sub-surface and bulk residual stresses using the following techniques:

  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
  • Incremental Central Hole Drilling (ICHD)
    1. ICHD based on Strain Gauge Rosette
    2. ICHD based on Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI)
  • Contour Method
  • Slitting Method
  • Ultrasonic Technique





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