Prof Prangnell’s research is focused on developing a fundamental understanding of how light alloys interact with advanced processing technologies and involves the control and prediction of microstructures during thermomechanical processing, forming, additive manufacture and joining. He has worked extensively with the aerospace industry on developing welding techniques for aerospace alloys. In recent years his welding research had focused on joining dissimilar metals and friction welding, as well as variations on the friction stir welding process (e.g. FSSW, static shoulder FSW, USW etc.). He is also actively engaged in understanding relationships between microstructure and properties in additive manufacturing. He has worked on other areas of aerospace manufacture, such as creep-age forming, and has a long standing interest in ultra-high strain deformation.
Main research areas currently include;
i) Optimising advanced welding processes for joining light alloys in multi-material structures - focusing on friction joining techniques, joining dissimilar materials (e.g. steel to aluminium) and metals to composites.
ii) Microstructure control during thermomechanical processing and forming of aerospace and automotive alloys
iii) Microstructure property relationships in additive manufacture with metals