School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

Joining processes are important in the production of many components and are also commonly used in the repair and maintenance of plant and equipment.  At the University of Queensland, we have several projects that interface with both national and international industrial partners to provide support and make advances in joining technology.  The range of  processes which are of interest to our partners is diverse and includes adhesive bonding, self-piercing riveting, soldering, aluminium brazing, diffusion bonding and laser and conventional welding.  These processes are used to join a range of metallic, non-metallic, composite and dissimilar materials for a variety of applications including biomedical, electrical, structural and functional. Current partners include Nihon Superior, Cook Medical and Henrob.  As part of this program we interface with other researcher institutions including Osaka and Kyushu universities and the Australian Universities within the CAST CRC and the Defence Materials Technology Centre.

Lead-Free Solders

Worldwide, there is increasing pressure to remove lead from electrical components. This move is relatively recent and there is significant research that is still required to develop lead-free products suitable for use in specific applications. The majority of our research has focused on near-eutectic tin-copper alloys, and in particular, the effect that trace levels of nickel have on processing and service properties. Much of the work has ben done in collaboration with Nihon Superior Co. an international supplier of lead free solder alloys and the strong relationship between UQ and Nihon Superior has been recognized with the establishment of the Nihon Superior Centre for the Manufacture of Electronic Materials.

Current Research

  • Characterisation of Intermetallics in solder joints.

  • New solders for EVs, Photo-voltaic systems, Al substrates.

  • Mechanical properties of Cu6Sn5.

  • Microstructure of Sn-Cu based solder alloys and joints.

  • Surface tension and surface oxide of lead-free solder alloys.