Additive & Convergent Manufacturing

Current manufacturing is in divided in separate silos according to processing methods and materials. Convergent manufacturing (CM) is a concept that support both fundamental research and technology development to bring together disparate manufacturing strategies and classes of materials leading to desired functional materials/structures with enhanced capabilities at point of need at a speed faster than additive processes. Convergent manufacturing combines virtual manufacturing, manufacturing processes including bulk, additive, subtractive, transformative, process monitoring and control, heterogeneous materials in one connected platform to yield functional devices and components.

The division of Additive and Convergent Manufacturing supports the following research project going on at the CAMICs center:

In-situ Additive Alloying

In-situ alloying is a highly desired capability by the metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry. Research in in-situ alloying can realize the full potential of metal additive manufacturing, supporting material and structure innovation for automobile, energy, and space applications. Our preliminary work shows the possibility of in-situ direct alloying based on elemental metal particles using a Selected Laser Melting AM machine. Despite the low flowability of particles and insufficient diffusion, our work demonstrated the potential of in-situ alloying of configurable binary, ternary, and high entropy alloys (HEAs) directly from multiple elemental metals, using laser and multi-energy sources to control the melting-alloying-solidification cycles involved in the process. Nevertheless, as with any alloying process, complete diffusion of metal atoms is necessary for the formation of random solid solution, the signature structure of any HEAs. In this project, the fundamental mechanisms involved in laser-based in-situ alloying and fusing of multi-elements and multi-materials assisted by material/structure transformation processes are systematically investigated. The team will first investigate the melting, diffusion and solidification of Al-Fe binary systems, based on a single hatch melt pool. The expected scientific findings include the process behaviors detected using high-speed observations and real-time temperature measurements of laser melt pool. The diffusion behaviors and the resulting material structures across scales will be observed by EDX and TEM. The observed material melting/diffusion/solidification behaviors and resulting material structures created in a single hatch melt pool will allow the team to develop a fundamental process/material behavior relationship considering both laser and ultrasonic process parameters. A process-material-structure property relationship model will then be developed to support future industry adoption of the in-situ alloying based additive processes.

High Deposition Rate AM Process

Defense and Space industries are search for technologies that can further improve the deposition rate of metal AM processes. With a wide stream of existing metal AM principles, the center team is reviewing and evaluating AM process to develop a technology roadmap to significantly increase the deposition rate while maintaining or improving processes accuracy. We are collaborating with America Makes, and other national partners to develop future technologies based on the following processes principles:

1) Additive friction-stir manufacturing (AFSM), which uses friction-stir processing (FSP) principles for additive manufacturing (AM) of large metal structures.  The AFSM technique has main unique potential like large-scale rapid production and printing of non-weldable metals and alloys. The center works with partners to future improve the vertical resolution of material deposition and incorporate suitable hybrid subtractive and rolling steps for attaining the final shape with better accuracy.

2) Collaborative Robot Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM): WAAM offers high deposition rates and quality without size limits.  WAAM is considered one of the best alternatives for additive manufacturing of medium-large size parts with high mechanical requirements, such as structural parts in the aeronautical industry. In this project, we consider incorporating multiple robots that collaboratives deposit metal with multiple hatch strategies with a goal to improve the build rate.

3) Laser/cold spray transformative process: This is a new project, details can be obtained upon request.

4) Laser based Hybrid Manufacturing Process: This is a new project, details can be obtained upon request.

5) Pultrusion and DED processed for lightweight composite materials and structures under high temperature.