Penn State to develop new method of 3D printing ultra-tough steel for U.S. Army
ItemDate=2021-05-03 00:28:00 Status=publish
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Researchers based at Penn State’s College of Engineering have been awarded $434 000 by the U.S. Army to develop an optimized method of 3D printing high-strength alloys. During the project the team intends to use computer modelling to identify a Laser Directed Energy Deposition (L-DED)-based setup that’s capable of printing more robust metals with enhanced material efficiency. Penn State engineers are developing an optimized system of 3D printing large-format military components. In terms of defense applications 3D printing has shown particular potential as a means of creating spare parts on-demand something that could be advantageous to isolated soldiers on the battlefield.
Similarly the U.S. Army has previously acquired a Rize One 3D printer for on-demand production purposes and adopted MELD Manufacturing technology to repair military vehicles on the move. For instance the ARL recently deployed Senvol’s ML software to assess the efficacy of 3D printed missile parts and using similar simulations engineers at Penn State are now seeking to qualify their alloy-based approach albeit for larger-format applications. The U.S. Army is increasingly using simulation-based approaches to qualify 3D printed parts for end-use within combat scenarios. While it’s clear that robust 3D printed metal parts have significant potential when it comes to military shielding some performance alloys can be difficult to process.
To get around this Basak now intends to work with the project’s Principal Investigator Todd Palmer to develop an optimized wire-fed manufacturing process. Once perfected the engineers then aim to assess their approach practically using Penn State’s machines to create large-format test parts and generate experimental data that could prove useful in future end-use military scenarios. For Basak having access to Penn State’s extensive 3D printing resources will prove vital to testing the efficacy of their approach. Wire-fed DED is quickly emerging as a faster and cheaper
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