America Makes offers Directed Project Opportunity for Additive Manufacturing

October 24, 2018

October 24, 2018

America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, has made available a Directed Project Opportunity to its members for AM applied research and development projects for Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification (ATRQ). The DPO will be funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Office (OSD/MIBP) through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The organisers stated that the ATRQ DPO seeks to promote and accelerate the development and deployment of innovative, cost effective, energy-efficient AM technologies with the objective of meeting defence and/or commercial needs. Driven by the US’s National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and OSD/AFRL expect to make available approximately $3.9 million to fund multiple awards with at least $1.95 million in matching funds from the awarded project teams, for total funding worth roughly $5.9 million.

The technical requirements of the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity directly relate to the America Makes Technology Roadmap, which identifies measurable and meaningful challenges that, when met, promote inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and technical advancements across the AM industry. ATRQ aligns to multiple swim lanes of the Technology Roadmap, including Design, Material, and Process. America Makes members can access the Technology Roadmap via the America Makes Digital Storefront for more information.

In addition, the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity also supports the Integrated DoD AM Roadmap, which America Makes facilitated the development of in 2016 in order to provide a foundation and framework for focusing desired collaboration and coordination of the DoD’s activities in AM to systematically and efficiently mature the technology for multiple DoD applications.

Topics are available for both metal and polymer Additive Manufacturing projects. Technical topics relating to metal AM for which ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity applications will be considered are as follows:


Topic Area – Surrogate Damage Generation for LPBF Defects

Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) has demonstrated the ability to repeatably create geometrically complex parts from a number of metal alloys. However, as with any process, defects can be generated during the course of processing, many of which have a unique context within the LPBF process, including lack of fusion defects, keyhole porosity, clusters of aligned porosity, powder short feed, and delaminations.

The goal of this topic area is to gain an understanding of the key failure modes and material anomalies in LPBF. The DoD is seeking proposals to identify processes and methods to introduce reproducible, controlled and representative defects into specific locations of otherwise high-quality AM material.

Factors that must be defined and controlled for these surrogate defects include, but are not limited to: flaw type, flaw size, flaw orientation and flaw location. Demonstration of the correlation in mechanical debits between these surrogate defects and experienced defects in production material, as well as the comparative inspection response of the surrogate defect when compared to the naturally occurring defect, are desired.

Material systems of interest are said to include nickel superalloys, high-strength steels and stainless steels, and aerospace-grade titaniums.

America Makes stated that it anticipates multiple awards of up to $800,000 per project.


Topic Area – Corrosion Mechanisms of LPBF Materials

The performance limitations of AM materials subjected to the demanding environments detected in-theater and in-service have constrained the adoption of novel technologies and solutions, such as AM that could increase operational readiness and capability. Some challenges already observed for deployed AM parts include unique corrosion performance of materials and novel geometries. The high cooling rates that produce microstructures and non-equilibrium phases in AM materials have raised concerns about localised corrosion modes in a range of applications.

The goal of this topic area is to test and evaluate localised corrosion issues in 17-4PH steel, In 625, or AlSi10Mg, due to their application in a variety of DoD hardware applications. Proposals should choose what corrosion modes to characterise (galvanic, stress corrosion cracking, pitting, erosion corrosion, crevice corrosion, corrosion fatigue, etc.) as a function of alloy microstructure, porosity, surface roughness, and/or corrosive environment.

Such characterisation should advance understanding of AM vs traditional service life of the selected alloy subjected to similar environments and conditions; establish authoritative AM materials property data; and support DoD efforts to generate AM metal corrosion guidance and industry accepted standards and specifications.

America Makes stated that it anticipates multiple awards of up to $800,000 per project.


Rob Gorham, America Makes’ Executive Director, stated, “For our partners at the DoD, the anticipated outcomes of the America Makes ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity are of the utmost importance. The DoD’s need for rapid qualification and certification of AM processes and materials is great. These projects will be instrumental in resolving the current deterrents that are hindering the wider adoption and deployment of AM technologies within the DoD and its supply chain.”

To be eligible for the America Makes Project Call, a lead proposer must be or have become an America Makes member by no later than January 4, 2019. Project teams may be composed of both members and non-members. Project Concept forms must be submitted to America Makes by November 28, 2018.

October 24, 2018

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