Serge St. Martin


Video of the Researcher

Lab name

Centre technologique en aérospatiale



Full name

Serge St. Martin


Designing light and durable materials for the aviation industry

Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials

Ingénieur en procédés d’usinage, Serge est diplômé d’un  baccalauréat et d’une maîtrise en génie mécanique de l’École de technologie supérieure(ÉTS). Il obtient son baccalauréat en 1998 et sa maîtrise en 2000. Ensuite, il est embauché chez Dassault Systèmes Inc. comme consultant en CAO de 2001 à 2004.

Il devient chargé de cours au département de génie mécanique à l’ÉTS de mai 2004 à août 2008 et se spécialise dans les procédés d’usinage haute vitesse. Il int ègre finalement l’équipe du CTA en septembre 2008.

Il est actuellement chef d’équipe du secteur fabrication métallique.Ses domaines d’expertise sont l’usinage automatisé, l’usinage des matériaux composites et l’inspection en machines-outils.

Describe your research

Metallic manufacturing comprises of every process from the raw material to a finished piece. Among the most used manufacturing processes in the aerospace industry is machining.

Machining consists of removing materials successively using a cutting tool until we arrive to the part’s final form. When it comes to the aerospace industry, it is unusual to use raw materials like aluminium, iron or copper.

Instead, we use alloys, meaning fusing chemical elements that are put together for their beneficial mechanical properties once combined. For example, we have many aluminum-based alloys. They are alloys that are light and that allow for the manufacturing of structures and fuselages for aircraft.

There are also alloys such as steel that have many useful mechanical properties, especially when the parts are often used. Finally, there are titanium or nickel-based alloys that also have useful mechanical properties, but most of all, conserve these properties at high temperatures. In that case, we use these materials to build parts that surround the motors or turbines of aircraft.

Machining is a complex manufacturing process. This is the reason why one of the areas of research and development are simulations. With the help of computer tools, including software, we can reproduce physical phenomenon and to determine if the cutting processes are appropriate for the manufacturing of parts. We can determine what is the friction temperature.

Therefore, when there is cutting what is the heat generated but also if the surface manages to keep its integrity. It is one of the areas where we do a lot of research.

Another area that follows simulations are cutting tests. Once we determine parameters that seem optimal, we test them in a real-life situation: in the machining tools to make sure that these parameters allow for the manufacturing of a quality parts in accordance with the design requirements.

Other areas in which we do a lot of research and development are special processes. For instance, transitioning from manual to automatic production, including the deburring and polishing of parts.

We gain a lot in efficiency but also in consistently replicating the process. There are also processes that allow us to create not only
metallic alloys but also composite alloys that are a combination of plastic and fibers. These materials necessitate using cutting tools with very unique properties.

Finally, there also compression processes that allow to truly reinforce the piece and to ensure that they can last for a long time. These processes include blasting and hammering.

Explain its significance

Aircraft are truly one of the most impactful invention on our individual behavior and on society in general. In particular, on the transportation of people and of goods.

As technological progress advances, those that have an impact on manufacturing processes and allows for more efficient, productive and enjoyable travels while having a reduced impact on the environment by designing pieces that are lighter, reducing the energy consumption of aircraft.

Research and development in metallic manufacturing also allows us to truly optimize and automate manufacturing processes, which is truly beneficial to Canadian and Quebecker manufacturers, to consumers and to our planet and environment.


Institution name

Cégép Montpetit

Type of institution