America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining have announced a directed project call funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Technology Office (OSD (R&E)) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) worth a total of $11.7 million.
The objective of this ‘Improvements in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis (IMPACT)’ project call is to demonstrate productivity and yield benefits for casting and forging manufacturing via Additive Manufacturing technologies, execute techno-economic analysis for metal powder-based Additive Manufacturing, and to bridge component sourcing gaps with AM parts for casting and forging applications. The call is also seeking innovative solutions for robotic AM process planning for continuous fibre-reinforced composite structures.
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“This project call addresses the needs of a broad cross-section of our nation’s supply chain including the casting and forging supply chain,” stated Brandon Ribic, PhD, America Makes Technology Director. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to deliver longer-term strategic investments to scaling AM technologies.”
The proposed projects should be applicable to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4-7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) at the onset of the proposed project. The request for proposal includes ten topic areas; the number of anticipated awards and maximum funding will vary depending on the topic addressed.
The topic areas are as follows:
- Demonstrating Lead Time, Productivity, and Yield Improvements for Casting and Forging Manufacturing Operations Using Additive Manufacturing Technologies
- Develop/disseminate leading practices and accelerate the adoption of additively manufactured moulds/cores for sand castings
- Mature AM ceramic technology and promote adoption for rapid, low-volume production of investment castings for defence applications
- Develop and disseminate tools/frameworks to improve die (die casting) life with AM cooling channels
- Mature and promote methods to add high wear layers and complex geometric features to forgings
- Pilot the industrialisation of AM preforms to expedite the forging process for low-volume forged components
- Develop and disseminate leading Directed Energy Deposition (DED) and Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing practices to promote the adoption of die repair for forging applications
- AM for casting and forging innovations relevant to US Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition or sustainment programmes
- Disseminating the Value Proposition of Bridging Component Sourcing Gaps with AM Parts for Critical Casting and Forging Production
- Techno-economic analysis and manufacturing readiness assessments to address bridging component sourcing gaps with AM parts for critical casting and forging production
- Identifying and Disseminating the Impact of Strategic R&D to Scale Powder Bed AM Technology
- Powder AM techno-economic analysis
- Advancing AM Processing for Continuous Fiber Reinforced Composites
- Innovations in robotic additive manufacturing process planning
Deadline for the lead proposer to complete fully executed membership agreement with America Makes is June 14 for topics 1-8 and June 23, for topics 9 & 10. The submission deadlines are June 28 for 1-8 and July 7, for topics 9 &10.
The awards announcements are expected to take place in late July and early August, respectively. Further details are available here.