One of the most critical innovations surrounding the extension of cold-spray materials processing from a non-structural repair or coating acquisition into a structural repair and solid-state additive manufacturing (AM) is the development of thermal-preprocessing technology for the feedstock powder.
The National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) supports interdisciplinary materials research and education focusing on fundamental problems in materials science and engineering.
August 9, 2021
There are 19 such centers across the nation. Each of them addresses research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy and research talent provided by a campus-based research center. The MRSECs essentially support the materials research infrastructure in the United States; promote collaboration between universities, industry and international organizations; and contribute to the development of a national network of university-based centers in materials research, education and facilities.
The Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is currently working on several digital-manufacturing projects. In this piece, we feature two material manufacturing research projects with far-reaching impact.
We are pleased to contribute editorial for this quarterly column. Over the coming year, we will share the advancements we are making at the Advanced Casting Research Center on innovative processing methods for cast components; measurement of heat-transfer coefficient and other critical process parameters; big-data research; and advanced-alloy development initiatives.
Our take on metals additive manufacturing (AM) is that it has made it past the “valley of death” in the so-called hype curve. It is being used widely and sometimes for unexpected applications. For example, I was impressed to hear a presentation from the Sonova Group about printing custom hearing-aid earpieces in titanium, for which the unexpected benefit was much better robustness against being dropped on the floor and crushed underfoot.
A relatively recent phenomenon in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) has been the discovery of “keyholes” (i.e., flaws) that form during the metal AM process. AM’s promise to revolutionize industry is currently constrained by a widespread problem: tiny gas pockets in the final product, which can lead to cracks and other failures.