UT-ORNL to lead US Navy research initiative on alloys for Additive Manufacturing

April 12, 2018

UT-ORNL to lead US Navy research initiative on alloys for Additive Manufacturing

UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair of Advanced Manufacturing Suresh Babu (left) has been selected to lead a US Navy Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative programme (Courtesy University of Tennessee)


The US Navy has chosen a team of researchers from the University of Tennessee for a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) programme on properties, defects and instabilities of metal additively manufactured alloys. The three year programme has been awarded around $1.5 million a year, and is extendable to five years.

Suresh Babu, University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing, will lead the project, and stated that he and his team hope to better explore a number of physical processes which can affect the final product, including rapid heating and cooling of materials, and examine how physical properties at the submicron level might differ from those at a far greater scale.

“The basic research we are doing will focus on addressing solid stabilities in metal alloys subjected to thermo-mechanical transients typical of Additive Manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing, through advanced in-situ and ex-situ measurements,” commented Babu.

The influence of this research is expected to be of use to all metal advanced manufacturing processes which use high energy deposition processes involving arc, plasma, laser and electron beams, and Powder Bed Fusion processes involving laser and electron beams, all of which involve solidification and solid-state transformations under highly transient conditions.

“With this award, UT continues to expand its research portfolio with the Department of Defense and, in particular, this opportunity with the Office of Naval Research,” stated Victor McCrary, Vice Chancellor for Research. “Dr Babu is a prime example of the university’s research excellence.”

Babu’s team includes Associate Professor Hahn Choo of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, along with researchers from Virginia Tech, Ohio State University, Iowa State University, the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Colorado School of Mines.

An Australian team led by Professor Simon Ringer at the University of Sydney is also integrated into the programme, and researchers from the University of New South Wales. The US universities will be sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and the Australian Team will be sponsored by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

“MURI supports research by funding teams of investigators that include more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate the research progress,” explained Dale Ormond, Principal Director for Research in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “MURI awards also support the education and training of graduate students in cutting-edge research areas.”




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