Journal to publish engineer's 3D printer materials research

A student’s research into whether 3D printers can be used to create strong enough composite materials to make planes, cars and military armours has been so impressive it is to be published in a prestigious international journal.

Yogesh Ramanathapuram Nagarajan graduated in the autumn from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) but his final year project had already grabbed the attention of the industry before he had completed his Mechanical Engineering MSc.

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Yogesh picked up a lot of advice from peers at the conference

He won funding to present his research at an international conference at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow in September and his work has since been snapped up to be published in a special issue of the Journal of Mechanics (Cambridge University Press).

“After I got very good results from my research I was invited to put it into a published conference paper,” explained Yogesh.

“I wasn’t used to this, presenting my paper to a conference. It was my first time at a conference like that and it was a really good experience.

“I got a lot of good support at the conference from more experienced people and they gave me some very good ideas for me in the future.”

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Yogesh presents his work at the conference

Yogesh used a MarkForged 3D printer at DMU to print materials such as carbon fibre, glass fibre and Kevlar – the super-strong composite often used to make items such as bullet-proof vests.

His research studied whether these composite materials had the same strengths and ‘failure mechanisms’ when produced through additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques as compared to traditional processes.

“I showed the conference my papers and all the research and a number of publishers were keen on it,” he added. “They came up to speak to me afterwards, and were very kind and nice about my work.

“This one liked it and is going to publish it in the journal, which is really nice for me."

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The 25-year-old has returned to his home near Chennai in India where he is working temporarily at his family’s textile machineries supplies business but is looking for full PhD opportunities related to additive manufacturing research in the UK or Europe.

Yogesh added: “I’m so grateful to my supervisors at DMU, and for the 24-hour access to the Queen’s Building, the equipment and the technology there, all of which helped me with my work.

“I’m very keen to do more research now but I need to find the right opportunity.”

Posted on Friday 21st December 2018

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