NIST Award to Support Metal-Based Additive Manufacturing
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded $999,464 to the Cold Spray Research Group in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering to improve sensing approaches and create a suite of sensor technologies that will help optimize cold spray additive manufacturing. The research team includes Sinan Muftu, professor and associate dean for faculty affairs, Ozan Ozdemir, assistant professor, and Andrew Gouldstone, professor and associate chair of experiential innovation. The award is part of nearly $4 million in NIST grants to help accelerate the adoption of new measurement methods and standards to advance U.S. competitiveness in metals-based additive manufacturing.
According to NIST, additive manufacturing typically creates parts and components by building them layer by layer, based on a 3D computer model that is virtually sliced into many thin layers. Metals-based additive processes form parts by melting or sintering material in powder form. The process offers advantages such as reduced material waste, lower energy intensity, reduced time to market and just-in-time production.
Cold spray additive manufacturing processes have the potential to create parts that are more durable and stronger than those made with other additive manufacturing processes. New sensors will help characterize the properties of the powder feedstock and the key parameters of the process, such as temperatures and part dimensions, and allow for better control of this promising technique.
This research program will address morphological characterization of metal powders, process monitoring via in-situ sensory devices, residual stress control by path planning and, non-destructive, post-print defect characterization. In each one of these categories, novel use of existing measurement systems will be combined with comprehensive modeling approaches.
Cold spray is a solid-state powder consolidation technology where micron-sized powder particles are accelerated to velocity levels of 300 – 1,500 m/s, in a supersonic inert gas. Under the right processing conditions, a fraction of the impact energy enables bonding between the powder particles. Functional, micrometers-to-centimeters thick coatings of metals, ceramics, and polymers can be obtained. Next-generation of cold spay machines will be capable of printing non-oxidized, low porosity, low residual stress near net-shape components.