America Makes Announces Awardees of Directed Project Opportunity

  • Two Projects of Approximately $1.35M Each are Awarded

Youngstown, Ohio — April 29, 2015. America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute is proud to announce two awardees of a Directed Project Opportunity on Conformal Heat Exchangers (HEXs) funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes will award $2.7 million in AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division funding toward these projects with $1.4 million in matching cost share from the awarded projects teams for total funding worth $4.1 million.

The objective of this Directed Project Opportunity is to conduct applied research projects to demonstrate the use of laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM) processes for fabricating heat exchangers for propulsion applications, to include the design, inspection, and evaluation of performance. Additionally, each of the technical tasks are to be performed on materials that have been demonstrated as viable materials for use with the specific AM process proposed, including one of the three classes of metallic materials: Nickel-based alloys, Aluminum alloys, and Titanium alloys.

Subject to the finalization of all contractual details and requirements, the two selected America Makes Directed Project Opportunity Awardees are as follows:

Awardee #1: Honeywell Aerospace
Led by Honeywell Aerospace, in conjunction with 3D Systems Corporation and the Pennsylvania State University, this project team seeks to conceive, build, and validate a novel, highly advanced propulsion product, leveraging its resources and vast experience in heat exchanger design and laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing. Specifically, the goal of this project is to focus on developing a heat exchanger that best addresses thermal fatigue, envelope optimization, pressure drop, flow distribution, and thermal performance and producing designs that feature high thermodynamic efficiency, including thin-walled and highly complex structures.

Awardee #2: United Technologies Research Center
Led by United Technologies Research Center, in partnership with other United Technologies Corporation business units, United Technologies Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney, and with Stratonics, 3DSIM, and the University of Connecticut, this project team seeks to rapidly advance the Manufacturing Readiness Level of Laser Powder Bed Fusion HEX components in propulsion applications. The goal of this project is to address the fundamental risks/gaps in AM processes, including in-situ defect detection, non-destructive inspection, and thin-fin manufacturing capability; establish a quantitative link between key product characteristics and the manufacturing process parameters required for repeatable and reliable fabrication; and demonstrate an AM HEX and value proposition relevant to the Department of Defense and AFRL.

“Thanks to the continued support and funding from AFRL, America Makes is excited to announce the winners of this directed project opportunity,” said Ed Morris, America Makes Director and NCDMM Vice President. “On behalf of all of us at America Makes, we extend our congratulations to the awardees.”

“Going into this Directed Project Opportunity, we anticipated proposal submissions that showcased strong member teaming and explored how to prove and demonstrate higher-performing and lower-cost conformal HEXs, including the identification of any lead-time improvements and potentially allowing higher specific performance,” said John Wilczynski, America Makes Deputy Director of Technology Development. “The America Makes member community did not disappoint. AM offers the HEX field design freedoms that are simply not possible using traditional manufacturing process. The teaming by America Makes members that possess substantial experience in the HEX field is outstanding. As a result, both AFRL and the defense industry are poised to benefit greatly from these directed projects.”

The anticipated start date of the Directed Projects is Summer 2015.

About America Makes
America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the flagship Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure of up to 45 Institutes to follow and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit http://americamakes.us.

About NCDMM
The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at ncdmm.org.

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