AlphaSTAR wins DLA programme to study Grain Boundary Engineering in AM
August 10, 2020
Software developer AlphaSTAR Corporation (ASC), headquartered in Long Beach, California, USA, has been awarded a contract by the Defense Logistics Agency to improve the mechanical properties and structural performance of metal additively manufactured parts by studying Grain Boundary Engineering in AM.
The contract was awarded to ASC in collaboration with General Electric Global Research Center, University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and the University of Michigan (UoM) Aerospace Engineering,
ASC explains that, as AM is a relatively new manufacturing technology, it has many hurdles to overcome before universal adoption as a replacement for conventional manufacturing technologies is possible. As such, the company states that there exists an ongoing challenge to provide out of production parts and maintain mission readiness of various weapons system platforms.
During the award period, the team will reportedly establish material performance screening, selection and improvement of AM driven legacy parts. According to ASC, these developments will apply to all DoD sectors looking to improve the quality and reliability of AM parts.
“Grain Boundary Engineering can improve mechanical strain, crack growth and fatigue properties of the AM part compared to current equiaxed-grain-boundaries in ‘As-Built’ vs ‘As-Is’ parts,” commented Dr Rashid Miraj, Director of Technical Operations at AlphaSTAR.
“It will yield significant advancement for the design of DoD supply chain of AM components that are flexible, scalable, and capable of producing parts which are qualified and more reliable using the current AM practices,” he concluded.