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Photo of Dr Yaan Liu

Dr Yaan Liu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 (Streatham) 4961

 01392 724961


I am a research fellow in the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) Coming from a material science background and having my PhD in materials engineering, my current research focuses on additive manufacturing (AM) with high-performance polymers and nanocomposites. I specialise in developing AM materials in photosensitive resins for nanocomposite polymers, thermoplastic composites and nanocomposite powders, and understanding the material-process interactions in AM processes.

Since 2015, I have been working on materials and AM research with projects spanning across wide range of thermoplastic polymers, nano-composite materials, and AM processes including two-photon lithography (TPL), powder bed fusion (PBF) and material extrusion (MEX). After completing my PhD in two-photon fabrication of 3D metal-polymer nanocomposites at the University of Nottingham, I joined CALM, at Exeter, which is the UK’s leading AM centre for high-performance polymers including a wide range of commercial AM technologies and characterisation techniques specific to the high temperature processes. This has allowed me to continue to work in the AM and nanocomposite area, whilst shifting towards more industry-focused research. Continuing my interest in composite materials, the most recent study I carried out was on ceramic-polymer composites for AM.

Research Projects

  • In November 2022, I secured a £38,500 grant from Innovate UK and was Principal Investigator (PI) for the Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) project  – Investigating the potential for producing SiC structures using the PBF process. 

  • Lead researcher in the Innovate UK-funded project - Multifunctional PAEK nanocomposites for Additive Manufacturing (F4 PAEK) (ref.104051) – A 2-year, £900k project, collaborating with 7 industry partners, I developed innovative techniques for producing PAEK-graphene nanocomposites for AM processes. Through the project I delivered invaluable guidance on formulations, processing methods, and nanosafety, to the industry partners, strengthening their position in the AM market.

  • Co-investigator in the Novel high performance polymeric composite materials for additive manufacturing of multifunctional components EPSRC-funded project (EP/N034627/1)

  • Co-investigator in the Innovate UK-funded project – Overprinting with High-Performance Polymers (OverHiPP) (ref.10004428)

  • Co-investigator in the Innovate UK-funded project – 3D heatsinks manufactured from sustainably sourced lignin carbon(ref.10003392).

  • Independent research project – Fabrication highly porous PEEK through AM processing for improved osteointegration

  • Supporting the CALM team in developing a case study on the use of PAEK materials for underwater system applications, working with Thales and the MTC.

  • Project with Kumovis, a PEEK machine manufacturer dedicated to AM medical devices, examining the performance of AM PEEK cranial implants under compression and impact loads using different manufacturing methods (MEX and PBF).

Conference presentations:

  • Chen Y., Liu Y., Comelli C. A. and Ghita O., Improving overprinted PA-CF/PA6 interface bonding by atmospheric plasma treatment. 38th Polymer Processing Society Conference. May 22-26, 2023.
  • Liu Y., Yi N., Davies R., McCutchion P. and Ghita O., Additive manufacturing of PEEK cranial implants: Powder Bed Fusion or Material Extrusion? 2022 Combined UHMWPE, PEEK, and Polymer Implant Additive Manufacturing Conference. June 12-24, 2022.
  • Liu, Y., Hu Q., Zhang, F., Tuck, C., Irvine, D., Hague, R., He, Y., Simoelli, M., Rance, G. A., Smith, E. F. and Wildman, R., Additive manufacture of 3D metal-polymer nanocomposites by simultaneous multiphoton polymerisation and photoreduction. IOP Institute of Physics: Printing and Graphics Science Group 2018. March 28, 2018.

Magazine articles

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