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 Powder Metallurgy Nano-Composites (PMNC)

Objective of this research:

At CENT, we have Nano-Powder Engineering group (NPEG) who is engaged in research of densification of nano-powders and various nano-composites such as, metal matrix-ceramic composites (Inconel, Bearing Steel, Copper, Diamond, Aluminum, Titanium, etc.), ceramic matrix-ceramic composites (e.g. Tungsten carbide (WC), Silicon carbide (SiC), Silicon nitride (Si3N4), Alumina (Al2O3), Boron nitride (cBN), Carbon materials and their composites/hybrids).  This is one of the most complex processes in the oil exploration industry and a chief characteristic that distinguishes it from other operations is the combined cutting and drilling of materials at the chisel edge, disc, rectangular or other shapes in the center of the drill. Here it is essential to have very hard and tough materials like diamonds. Therefore, machining and drilling of hard materials or rocks require significantly harder cutting materials. For instance, super-hard cubic boron nitride (cBN) is outstandingly eligible for these applications and an economical substitute for diamonds. In fact, cBN is the second hardest of all known materials. According to Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), cBN is included as a major compound used in diverse industries, and global market influenced and production capacity expansion plans in major end-user-sectors. In the coming years, the demand for cBN is expected to grow, bolstered by the recovering business growth in the major end-user-sectors.       


Group Members:


Research facilities:

Facilities; Spark Plasma Sintering, Microware Sintering, Hot Isostatic Press, Cold Isostatic Press, Muffle Furnaces, Tube Furnaces, Particle Size Analyser, Differential Thermal Analyser, Thermal Gravimeter Analyser,  Probe Ultra-sonicator

TriboLab Universal Mechanical Testing, Dilatometer for thermal expansion

Thermal conductivity Rotatory evaporator, High energy ball mill, Dual Beam

Thermal Equipment (DMA, TMA, DSC, TGA), XRD, Raman, etc.



  • Professor Stuart Hampshire, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  • Professor Sharafat Ali, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology, Linnæus University, Sweden
  • Professor Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Pakistan
  • Professor Tahir Irfan Khan, University of Bradford Faculty of Engineering & Informatics School of Engineering, Bradford, UK
  • Professor Tahar Laoui, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • Professor Abul Fazal Muhammad Arif, McMaster University, Canada
  • Dr. Minhas, Naeem, Manager, Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, Dhahran Technology Centre, Saudi Arabia
  • Professor Mirza Jamil Ahmad, Metallurgy & Materials Engineering, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Pakistan

On-going project:

  • Development of Transparent and Scratch Proof M/Sialon Thin Films (M: Alkaline Earth or Rare Earth) for High Technology Applications Processing and Characterization of
  • Sialon Based Ceramic Nanocomposites Reinforced With SiC and WC Nanoparticles for Cutting Tool and Wear Resistance Applications
  • Fabrication of Boron Nitride Nanocomposites Hard Materials for Cutting Tool and Abrasive Applications by Spark Plasma Sintering
  • Development of a composite coating utilising indigenous industrial waste materials for application on steel and concrete
  • Development of Novel Metallic Micro-Droplet Based Composites: Experimental Analysis and Computational Modeling
  • Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Inconel 718 Alloy (hybrid) Prepared by SLM, SPS and Casting
  • Thermomechanical and Tribological Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered Bearing Steel/cBN(Ni) Composites
  • Enhanced Titanium Sintering and Nitriding Metallurgical Processes using Solar Concentrated Energy


Latest publications:


  • Comparative Evaluation of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Inconel 718 Alloy Prepared by SLM, SPS and Casting Methods, 2020
  • Thermomechanical and Tribological Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered Bearing Steel/cBN(Ni) Composites for Engineering Applications, 2020  
  • Sadaqat Ali, Bilal Anjum Ahmed, Hafiz Muzammil Irshad, Akolade Idris Bakare, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Muhammad Qamaruddin, Muhammad Ali Ehsan, Sameer Ali, Muhammad Umar Azam, Evaluation of alumina reinforced oil fly ash composites prepared by spark plasma sintering, International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, 2020
  • M. A. Rafiq, A. Maqbool, Imran, I. H. Khan, M. U. Manzoor, A. Shuaib,  A. S. Hakeem, A Facile and Cost-Effective Approach for the Fabrication BNT Thick Films on Flexible Substrate for Energy Storage Capacitor Applications, Ceramics International, 2020
  • Adedayo Sheriff Adeniyi, Bilal Anjum Ahmed, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Faheemuddin Patel, Akolade Idris Bakare, et al, The Property Characterization of α-Sialon/Ni Composites Synthesized by Spark Plasma Sintering, Nanomaterials, 2019
  • Muhammad Umar Azam, Bilal AnjumAhmed, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Hafiz Muzammil Irshad, et al, Tribological behaviour of alumina-based nanocomposites reinforced with uncoated and Ni-coated cubic boron nitride, Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 2019
  • Saleh Al Wohaibi, Abdul Samad Mohammed, Tahar Laoui, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Akeem Yusuf Adesina, and Faheemuddin Patel, Tribological Characterization of Micron-/Nano-Sized WC-9%Co Cemented Carbides Prepared by Spark Plasma Sintering at Elevated Temperatures, Materials, 2019
  • Akhtar, Syed Sohail, Taha Waqar, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Abul Fazal M. Arif, and Khaled Saleh Al-Athel. "Design and Development of Hybrid Al2O3 Based Composites with Toughening and Self-Lubricating Second-Phase Inclusions." Materials, 2019
  • Raja Muhammad Awais Khan, Bilal AnjumAhmed, Moath MohammadAl Malki, Abbas SaeedHakeem, TaharLaouia, Synthesis of hard and tough calcium stabilized α-sialon/SiC ceramic composites using nano-sized precursors and spark plasma sintering, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2019  
  • B. A. Ahmed, A. S. Hakeem, T. Laoui, Effect of nano-size oxy-nitride starting precursors on spark plasma sintering of calcium sialons along the alpha/(alpha + beta) phase boundary, Ceramics International, 2019
  • Muhammad Asif Hussain, Adnan Maqbool, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Spark Plasma Sintering of Hybrid Nanocomposites of Hydroxyapatite Reinforced with CNTs and SS316L for Biomedical Applications, Current Nanoscience, 2019
  • Taha Waqar, Syed Sohail Akhtar, Abul Fazal M.Arif, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Design and development of ceramic-based composites with tailored properties for cutting tool inserts, Ceramics International, 2018
  • H.M. Irshad et al, Effect of Ni content and Al2O3 particle size on the thermal and mechanical properties of Al2O3/Ni composites prepared by spark plasma sintering, International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2018.
  • BA Ahmed, AS Hakeem, T Laoui, M Al Malki, MA Ehsan, S Ali, Low-temperature spark plasma sintering of calcium stabilized alpha sialon using nanosize aluminum nitride precursor, International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2017
  • Bilal Anjum Ahmed, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Tahar Laoui, Raja Muhammad Awais Khan, Moath Mohammad Al Malki, Effect of precursor size on the structure and mechanical properties of calcium-stabilized sialon/cubic boron nitride nanocomposites, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2017
  • Hafiz Muzammil Irshad, Bilal Anjum Ahmed, Muhammad Ali Ehsan, Tahir Irfan Khan, Tahar Laoui, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Investigation of the structural and mechanical properties of micro-/nano-sized Al2O3 and cBN composites prepared by spark plasma sintering, Ceramics International, 2017
  • Akhtar, S. S., L. T. Kareem, A. F. M. Arif, M. U. Siddiqui, and A. S. Hakeem. "Development of a ceramic-based composite for direct bonded copper substrate." Ceramics International 2017
  • Al Malki, M.M., Khan, R.M.A., Hakeem, A.S., Hampshire, S., Laoui, T. Effect of Al metal precursor on the phase formation and mechanical properties of fine grained SiAlON ceramics prepared by spark plasma sintering, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 2017
  • Akhtar, S.S., Siddiqui, M.U., Hakeem, A.S., Arif, A.F. A computational and experimental study on the effective properties of Al2O3-Ni composites, Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, 2017
  • Khan, R.M.A., Al Malki, M.M., Hakeem, A.S., Ehsan, M.A., Laoui, T. Development of a single-phase Ca-α-SiAlON ceramic from nanosized precursors using spark plasma sintering, Journal of Materials Science and Engineering A, 2016.


  • 457895US: Sialon Ceramics and A Method of Preparation Thereof
  • 480630US: Synthesis of Nano-Precursors Alumina-Silicate Oxynitride/Cubic Boron Nitride Composites
  • 515885US: Date-Leaf Carbon Micro-Nanostructured Particles (Dlcmnps) For Enhanced Oil Recovery
  • 503462US: Structural and mechanical properties of Nano and Micro Al2O3-cBN composites
  • 506467US: Mechanically Induced Solid Solution Transformation in Te-Sn Binary System by Ball Milling Process
  • 521690US: Spark Plasma Sintered cBN And Ni-cBN Bearing Steel