Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing for Lightweight Metallic Structures
The goal of this program is to demonstrate the use of UAM to additively build reinforcement structures to reinforce cut outs in larger aluminum structural components. The team will work with NASA to scope a 'generic' opening in an aerospace aluminum structure. UAM will be used to perform two reinforcing activities. Firstly, UAM will be used to thicken the cross section of the aluminum component in a selective manner. This will provide additional stiffness through geometric effects without starting with a large billet of material. Secondly, UAM will be used to embed reinforcing materials (such as SiC fibers, steel wire, carbon fiber) in and around the opening to create a true MMC in the region(s) around the opening. Smalll channels will be machined to receive wire reinforcements. UAM will be used to create an embedded layered structure of embedded fiber around the opening. Mechanical testing of windows will be performed to quantify the increase in mechanical performance.
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