MMAE Seminar: Large-Scale Manufacturing of Materials by Machining-Based Deformation Processing

The Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering is hosting a seminar from 12:45–1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, at Perlstein Hall, Room 131. The talk, “Large-Scale Manufacturing of Materials by Machining-Based Deformation Processing,” will be given by Dr. James Mann, president of M4 Sciences.

James MannBiography: Dr. James Mann is president and co-founder of M4 Sciences, a designer and developer of advanced technologies for manufacturing and materials processing. He has held academic appointments at the Center for Materials Processing and Tribology, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University and in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of West Florida. His industry career in large corporations and small business settings intersects engineering and management in the aerospace, automotive, and contract manufacturing sectors.

Dr. Mann’s research and commercialization work includes new discoveries, publications, patents, and technology innovation and commercialization. Examples include high-performance product designs; precision machining processes; modulation-assisted machining (MAM); advanced metal fiber manufacturing; innovative metrology methods; assembly and test operations; microstructure evolution and mechanics of deformation processes; creation of bulk nanocrystalline materials by large strain deformation, and metal fiber reinforced polymers for additive manufacturing. Dr. Mann pioneered the development and commercialization of modulation-assisted machining systems. MAM technology has enabled 5X increases in productivity and 10X increases in tool life for mechanical drilling applications across the orthopedic, aerospace, energy and transportation sectors. MAM technology was successfully commercialized in materials processing for metal fiber manufacturing.

Dr. Mann’s contributions to engineering, research, and commercialization have been recognized in conference presentation awards, publication awards, Purdue Innovator Hall of Fame (Purdue Research Foundation), Tibbetts Award (US Small Business Administration), the R&D 100 Award, and First Place – 20th Annual Burton Morgan entrepreneurial competition.


  • BSAAE and MS Engineering, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University
  • PhD Industrial Engineering, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University
  • MBA Finance, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Abstract: Shear-based deformation processing by machining is demonstrated for manufacturing of metals and alloys in bulk and particulate forms, and at scale. This materials manufacturing is based on unique control of deformation conditions and deformation geometry in the process zone, that offer important advantages over conventional deformation processes (e.g., extrusion, rolling, drawing). The intense deformation fields and precise motion control characteristic of machining are applied to form chips (end-product) with controlled geometry, fine-grained microstructure and crystallographic shear texture. The technological details and scientific underpinnings of this approach are discussed for two processes – hybrid cutting-extrusion (HCE), for production of metals in bulk forms; and modulation-assisted machining (MAM), for particulate metals. In HCE, an additional constraining die, located directly across from the primary cutting tool, converts the usual unconstrained chip formation to one with controlled geometrical format – thin-gauge strip in foil, sheet and flat wire forms. Tailoring the large-strain deformation field and deformation path can achieve bulk strip with ultrafine-grained microstructure, and crystallographic shear-texture favorable for formability. Potential applications of HCE materials range from electrical power systems to structural metals for weight reduction. In MAM, a low-frequency oscillation (typically <1000Hz) is superimposed onto the conventional cutting process, thereby transforming the cutting into a series of discrete chip-formation events. The discrete chip formation is used to produce metal particulate with equiaxed, fiber, and platelet shape morphologies, unique surface texture, and ultrafine grained microstructure. The metal particulates can be integrated as reinforcements in new composite materials, including applications in additive manufacturing. Implications for commercial production of metal strip for electrical motor applications and battery electrodes; and a new class of composite materials utilizing MAM particulates and additive manufacturing, will be discussed.