WPI, its graduates, faculty and graduate students have for many years played a prominent role in continuing advancements in abrasive processes and in the development of abrasive and grinding process technology. One result is our awareness of the importance of successful industry relationships with formalized, disciplined study and the dissemination of practical applications translating to material improvements for individual manufacturers.

The Center for Advanced Abrasive Processes houses the Abrasive Process Laboratory and Surface Metrology Laboratory. The Surface Metrology Laboratory is the only academic laboratory in the country that focuses on the measurement and analysis of surface textures: that is topographies, micro-geometries, or roughness to support manufacturing process and product development, and other scientific and technical applications. The few European labs that endeavor to measure surfaces use equipment and techniques we consider outdated.

Technology and experience make the association between the Center's two labs a valuable synergy partly because abrasive process technology is largely a series of creating surface textures for creating other surface textures.

With respect to this particular consortium, the Abrasive Process Laboratory's primary objective is to support industry through research on abrasive processes that have effective, practical applications. The Center for Advanced Abrasive Processes mission is to support industry through collaborative partnerships. This mission directs the Center to act as incubator of new ideas and cutting edge technologies that show potential with respect to robust, next generation metal removal processes. The primary focus of this particular consortium is expected to be more limited in scope, more focused on improvements in the process, and thusly more likely to generate gains in productivity in the near term.

Projects will be selected by an industrial steering committee, and project direction shared by WPI faculty, the consortium advisory board, and industry engineers. The Abrasive Process Laboratory's close association with the Surface Metrology Laboratory provides the opportunity to utilize the Surface Metrology Lab's expertise in measurement and analysis. This relationship plays a fundamental role in understanding and optimizing abrasive processes and surfaces from dressing, to grinding, to ground surface performance.

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Last modified: Jun 30, 2006, 15:45 EDT
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