Multivariable control of ball-milled reactive material composition and structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


  • Matteo Aureli
  • Constantine C. Doumanidis
  • Aseel Gamal Suliman Hussien
  • Syed Murtaza Jaffar
  • Yiliang Liao
  • Claus Rebholz
  • Charalabos C. Doumanidis

External Organisational units

  • Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Nevada
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Khalifa University
  • Research Unit for Nanostructured Materials Systems, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, Cyprus University of Technology
  • Office of the Provost, Nazarbayev University


In reactive bimetallic compounds such as Ni–Al multilayers, desirable thermo-kinetic properties upon ignition require simultaneously controlled geometric microstructure and material composition. This article establishes fundamental dynamical models of plastic deformation and material diffusion in ball milling processing of particulates from Ni and Al powders, for the purpose of designing and implementing feedback control strategies for process control. The role of heat dissipation from plastic yield and friction slip in affecting compressibility and diffusivity of the material is elucidated. The different sensitivity of compressibility and diffusivity to thermal power is exploited by introducing multivariable control of both bilayer thickness and penetration depth simultaneously, using a real-time computational model as an observer with adaptation informed by infrared measurements of external vial temperature. The proposed control scheme is tested on a laboratory low-energy ball milling system and demonstrated to effectively modulate power intensity and process duration to obtain the desired microstructure and material composition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
Journal Journal of manufacturing processes
Issue numberMay
Early online date25 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020