Metal powder atomisation specialist Sheikhali M Sheikhaliev has died

September 29, 2020

Prof Dr Sheikhali M Sheikhaliev who died suddenly in June (Courtesy Dr John Dunkley)

Prof Dr Sheikhali M Sheikhaliev, a material scientist and inventor of numerous atomising technologies, passed away suddenly in Novouralsk, near Ekaterinburg, Russia, in June 2020.

Having worked closely with UK-based Atomising Systems Ltd over a number of years, Dr John Dunkley recounts his career and highlights some of his work in the development of atomisation technologies.

Dr Sheikhali M Sheikhaliev was born in 1946 in Dagestan, in the Caucasus, and in 1977 graduated from the Ural Polytechnic Institute and, after postgraduate study, worked at Moscow Engineering Physics Institute No 2 (MIFI-2), located in Novouralsk, 1,400 km from Moscow (Novouralsk is the third name for the town since 1980, as it was a ‘secret city’ where the main Soviet uranium enrichment plant was built by Stalin).

Dr Sheikhaliev both lectured and conducted research in materials science, largely connected with the nuclear industry. He authored more than twenty patents and 120 publications on materials science and his work allowed the creation of new materials for nuclear reactors. He trained more than 150 specialists for the nuclear industry.

In 1990, working from the Institute, he founded a company to develop novel powder atomisation techniques called Ural NETRAMM (UN). It was around this time that I first met him in Moscow, having read his articles in Poroshkovoya Metallurgiya considering the possibilities of applying highly unconventional techniques of atomisation to metals.  

Atomising Systems ltd (ASL) took his concept for ultrasonic solder atomisation and applied western specialist equipment to develop a practical system for atomising electronic grade solder to extremely spherical and narrowly sized powder, and succeeded in selling several systems, to Japan, China and USA until the electronics industry moved to finer powders, which required higher frequencies which in turn implied lower throughputs than were viable.  

Another area of cooperation between Dr Sheikhaliev and ASL was in modelling centrifugal atomisation. Here, he developed a computer programme that predicted the trajectory and thermal history of flying metal droplets, and this has proved useful to ASL in designing production plants for solder powders, lead shot, zinc for batteries, bronze powder, steel powders, and even silicon.    

He also propounded and demonstrated the concept of using pressure-swirl nozzles for metals. These are the most common form of atomising nozzle for cold liquids, e.g. for perfume, but the obvious problems for metals are pressurising the melt and nozzle material durability. ASL succeeded in building a highly successful plant in 1995, using this technique to produce a fountain of molten lead which made excellent, narrowly distributed lead shot around 0.5-1.0 mm.

Work at ASL on his concept of an internal-mixing gas atomisation nozzle was less successful, and the practical difficulties of this, at least using 1990s technology and materials, proved beyond us at that time.

Dr Sheikhaliev also worked together with German Institute IWT in Bremen, where Dr Uhlenwinkel worked with one of his students to demonstrate his concept of pressure gas atomisation, which combined a first stage pressure swirl jet, to produce a conical sheet of molten metal, with a second stage gas atomisation of this sheet.

Everyone who worked with him in atomisation found him to be a first-class scientist and original thinker, who was most modest and helpful to all his associates. He will be sorely missed.  

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap