Nav: Home

Pitt engineers receive $500,000 award from NASA to advance additive manufacturing

December 12, 2016

PITTSBURGH (December 12, 2016) ... Additive manufacturing (AM) researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and simulation software company ANSYS, Inc. are among 13 university-led proposals to capture an Early Stage Innovations (ESI) grant from NASA's Space Technology Research Grants Program. ESI grants promote innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs of America's space program.

The Pitt team's three-year, $500,000 award, "Prediction of Microstructure Evolution in DMLM (Direct Material Laser Melting) processed Inconel 718 with Part Scale Simulation" was funded in the Modeling and Simulation-Based Certification of Additive Manufacturing Processing Parameters category. Principal investigator is Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and director of the ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory. Co-PI is Wei Xiong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and co-investigator is David Conover, chief technologist for mechanical products at ANSYS.

"Additive manufacturing now allows us to produce complex metal components that are strong enough to replace machined parts in mechanical applications. However, because of the process parameters and materials used in AM, the microstructure within a part or between different parts can vary widely," Dr. To said. "Thanks to NASA, our research will focus on developing a new simulation tool to predict the microstructure evolution and stability of Inconel 718, a common nickel superalloy used in laser-based AM in industry."

The research team's proposal noted that NASA is keenly interested in improving the performance of structural components for high-temperature applications such as jet engine parts, where both creep and strength are critical and need to be anticipated. "Currently, the only way to certify an AM part for space missions is to perform extensive microstructure and property characterization experiments on it, which is both time-consuming and expensive," Mr. Conover said. "The outcome of this research will potentially enable simulation-based certification of both AM parts and substantially lower the expense of certification."

According to NASA, the goal of the Space Technology Research Grants program is to accelerate the development of space technologies in their earliest stages to enable future systems capabilities and missions for NASA, other government agencies and the commercial space sector. The program is funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for developing the cross-cutting, pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions.

"NASA's Early Stage Innovations grants provide U.S. universities the opportunity to conduct research and technology development to advance NASA's scientific discovery and exploration goals," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, in the grant announcement. "Partnering with academia in advancing these critical areas of research ensures we are engaging the best and brightest minds in enabling the agency's future robotic and human space flight missions."
-end-


University of Pittsburgh

Related Engineering Articles:

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.
COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.
Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.
Reverse engineering the fireworks of life
An interdisciplinary team of Princeton researchers has successfully reverse engineered the components and sequence of events that lead to microtubule branching.
New method for engineering metabolic pathways
Two approaches provide a faster way to create enzymes and analyze their reactions, leading to the design of more complex molecules.
Engineering for high-speed devices
A research team from the University of Delaware has developed cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between phones and computers.
Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.
Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.
What can snakes teach us about engineering friction?
If you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake.
More Engineering News and Engineering Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.