The major challenges associated with additive manufacturing (AM) are an ability to qualify parts and the costs associated with the technology. Our team will study and mature technologies as detailed below to develop an ecosystem for the qualification of AM machines, which in turn supports the certification of part production.
Additive manufacturing offers unique opportunities for the aviation industry in the fabrication of original components and replacement parts. Aggressive use of metals AM has, for example, allowed the rapid development and production of new launch vehicle designs, at substantially reduced costs. Aviation has unique challenges, such as higher production volumes, but the potential value of integrating AM into aviation manufacturing is clear.
To implement the ecosystem for AM qualification, the team will run a set of six multi-disciplinary projects. Each of these projects will address a current barrier to AM process qualification, and efficient production.
Over the last eight years, metals Additive Manufacturing (AM) has impacted aviation manufacturing for jet engine components, airframe structural elements, and other applications. Looking ahead, AM is likely to substantially impact the desired outcomes for aviation manufacturing identified by NASA for this project. Accordingly, the over-arching project goal is the demonstrated establishment of an ecosystem for qualification of powder bed additive manufacturing processes that is based on flaw management. Solving the technical challenges and disseminating the qualification protocol to companies, especially Tier 1 suppliers and below will move aviation manufacturing towards achieving NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's objectives for innovative solutions that reduce time-to-production, improved process control, and product tailoring. The successful implementation of the proposed qualification framework for AM powder bed should substantially advance U.S. manufacturing capabilities in terms of flexibility of design, time-to-market etc. It will also bring down the cost of manufacture particularly for short production run parts and replacement parts. Economic growth will be boosted, particularly through enabling small contractors who lack access to Research and Development depth to qualify their AM processes and equipment and keep them qualified over time. Interaction with large original equipment manufacturers has indicated that most of them plan to eventually subcontract much of their AM fabrication work to small AM contractors. As small suppliers gain confidence in their ability to produce qualified parts, they will add machines and people to increase production.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Lead Organization||Academic||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Case Western Reserve University||Supporting Organization||Academic||Cleveland, OH|
|Colorado School of Mines||Supporting Organization||Academic||Golden, CO|
|Materials Resources LLC||Supporting Organization||Industry||Dayton, OH|
|The Barnes Group||Supporting Organization||Industry||Pittsburgh, PA|
|University of Pittsburgh||Supporting Organization||Academic||Pittsburgh, PA|
|University of Texas at El Paso||Supporting Organization||Academic||El Paso, TX|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Supporting Organization||Academic||Worcester, MA|