Solid-state battery technology company Ilika has received a £466,000 grant from the UK to conduct research into self-healing alloys for additive manufacturing process.

The grant is a part of Ilika’s three-year collaborative project being carried out with the University of Sheffield, Reliance Precision Engineering, GKN and BAE Systems.

The cost of the entire project is £2.15m.

Ilika secured funding for the project after it won a competition run by Innovate UK, the UK Government innovation funding body, on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and Aerospace Technology Institute.

"Additive manufacturing methods hold great promise for the rapid, cost-effective provision of complex components."

The project will focus on developing new-generation self-healing alloys fit for additive manufacturing processes, and build a metallic manufacturing process that will take advantage of additive and subtractive manufacturing process.

Developments will help manufacture novel components with complex features and mitigate challenges in designing mechanisms for the aerospace industry.

Ilika CEO Graeme Purdy said: "Additive manufacturing methods hold great promise for the rapid, cost-effective provision of complex components.

"One of the barriers to the wider adoption of the technology is the availability of alloys suitable for this manufacturing method. Ilika’s proprietary high throughput techniques allow us to address this challenge in a unique and cost-effective manner.

"The funding, supported by the ATI and Innovate UK, has enabled us to create a unique consortium and we look forward to a close and fruitful collaboration with our project partners."

Ilika is a materials discovery company that was spun-out from the university in May 2004.

Research is being used to develop new materials that will allow for surfaces to be covered in a highly controlled fashion, with monolayers or a variety of metal atoms.

The new alloy has unique catalytic, electronic and magnetic property, developed by the company founder Professor Brian Hayden along with Professor Mark Bradley and Dr Samuel Guerin.