• 286 Citations
  • 9 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research mainly has two focuses: machining and the effect of microstructure change and defects from machining/manufacturing on mechanical properties of components, which include:


  • Understanding how the microstructure changes and defects of composite materials are introduced in machining/manufacturing processes (e.g. fibre damage, fibre orientation disorder, voids, weak bonding between fibre and matrix, lower cutting surface quality, damaged cutting surface etc.).


  • Mechanism investigation on how the microstructure changes and defects of materials affect the material mechanical properties, crack initiation, orientation and propagation, fracture failure and fatigue life especially under extreme working conditions such as high rotational speed and high temperature.


  • Developing experimental and analytical modelling techniques at macro and micro scales to support the above research works.


  • Improving the machining surface accuracy and machining efficiency in high-speed ultra-precision machining for large diameter flat and curved optical components including brittle optical materials such as KDP crystals and SiC particles reinforced aluminum matrix composites. Research includes optimization of machining time algorithms, development of material removal functions, thermal analysis, workpiece subsurface damage detection, measurement and control.


  • Gear grinding and camshaft grinding, which includes surface roughness control, surface grinding thermal analysis and thermal damage control.


PhD Project

My PhD study in Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Laboratory (AMTReL), Liverpool John Moores University (AMTReL was evaluated as Grade 5 in RAE 2008) was funded by Overseas Research Students Awards and an EPSRC project. My thesis title: “Assessment of Vitrified CBN Wheels for Precision Grinding”. My research in this period include:

  • Grinding theory investigation including mechanics, tribology and material science
  • Grinding experiments with on-line process monitoring using acoustic emission system, inductive sensor, power meter and replica technique etc.
  • Grinding process simulation with Matlab

Master's Project

I  spent 3 years in my MPhil  in Shenyang, China. My thesis title is “Analysis on Lapping and Polishing Pressure Distribution”. A CIRP paper was published during this period. 


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Precision machining
  • Grinding
  • Stress analysis
  • Fatigue
  • Crack propagation
  • Micro structure

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Research Output

Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)
  • Investigation of flexural properties and failure behaviour of biaxial braided CFRP

    Yuan, H., Cai, R., Meng, Q. & Wang, L., Jul 2020, In : Polymer Testing. 87, 106545.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Multifunctional, durable and highly conductive graphene/sponge nanocomposites

    Meng, Q., Yu, Y., Tian, J., Yang, Z., Guo, S., Cai, R., Han, S., Liu, T. & Ma, J., 28 Aug 2020, In : Nanotechnology. 31, 46, 1 p., 465502.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Non-oxidized graphene/elastomer composite films for wearable strain and pressure sensors with ultra-high flexibility and sensitivity

    Meng, Q., Liu, Z., Cai, R., Lu, S. & Liu, T., Feb 2020, In : Polymers for Advanced Technologies. 31, 2, p. 214-225 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)


    • 2 Invited talk

    Intelligent Grinding Assistant (IGA) - System Development

    Rui Cai (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Intelligent Grinding Assistant (IGA) - System Development

    Rui Cai (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk