Penn State to Lead $1.4M Grant to Probe Flaws in Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM)

By Penn State | News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – June 14, 2018 - A team led by Penn State‘s Applied Research Laboratory, in collaboration with the Center for Innovative Processing thru Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), has received a $1.4 million grant by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to examine the random flaws that arise during the process of powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM).

Despite best attempts to optimize process parameters and control the process, random flaws sometimes occur during the PBFAM process. These flaws serve as stress risers that degrade fatigue life and limit the widespread adoption of PBFAM technology in critical applications. The project, which began on June 13 at the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment program Phase 3 Project Call Kickoff Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, is designed to develop a better understanding of the formation of flaws and to quantify the impact they have on fatigue properties.

An example of a stochastic flaw observed in Ti-6Al-4V PBFAM builds after HIP.

An example of a stochastic flaw observed in Ti-6Al-4V PBFAM builds after HIP.
Image: Applied Research Laboratory/Penn State

The project is under the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment program funded by the AFRL through America Makes, the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3-D printing.

The team working on the project, comprising of key leaders in the additive manufacturing industry — 3D Systems, Moog, Oerlikon and United Technologies Research Center — will employ high-resolution computed tomography scans and fractographic analysis on pedigreed Ti-6Al-4V fatigue samples in order to quantify the impact of flaws. Additionally, high-speed videos and advanced process sensors will be coupled with process models to gain insight into the phenomena that lead to stochastic flaw formation.

Source: Penn State

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