New REMADE Project Seeks Eco-Friendly Solutions to Metal Corrosion

Associate professor Yiliang (Leon) Liao is developing eco-friendly technologies for use in metallic surface remanufacturing. Photo courtesy of Iowa State University.

Yiliang (Leon) Liao, an associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa, USA), is leading a new project to develop hybrid laser surface processing technology that would be an easy-to-use, highly controllable, and eco-friendly solution for metallic surface remanufacturing. 

This work is supported by $880,000 in funding from the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Reducing Embodied-energy And Decreasing Emissions (REMADE). The REMADE Institute focuses on driving down the cost of technologies essential to reuse, recycle, and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers, and electronic waste with the goal of achieving a circular economy in U.S. manufacturing. 

Liao’s team will include Beiwen Li, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Iowa State, along with collaborators from the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Dayton. The research team will collaborate with luxury vehicle manufacturer Volvo to investigate end-of-life reuse of metallic components. 

Hybrid laser processing technology addresses the current limitations of the conventional “burning + blasting” process, which has technical barriers as well as high energy consumption and financial costs. The team’s discoveries could have a significant impact on the automotive and aerospace industries, military organizations, and energy infrastructures, where the remanufacturing and repair of metallic structures — particularly components with complex geometry — has widespread applications. 

Source: Iowa State University – College of Engineering News,