Process Modeling for Additive Manufacturing of Alloys by Electron Beam

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-M-5059
Agency Tracking Number: F131-124-0204
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-124
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road, Dayton, OH, -
DUNS: 074689217
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Porter
 Materials Scientist
 (937) 426-6900
Business Contact
 Rick Weddle
Title: Director, Contracts
Phone: (937) 426-6900
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: UES proposes to obtain data to anchor models for additive manufacture by electron beam melting (EBM). In this process, parts are made by scanning an electron beam in a raster defined by a CAD file over a powder bed such that powder is melted and resolidified to build a part layer-by-layer. While vendor-provided parameters will result in a part, first part yield is low. Predictive modeling of optimum machine parameters for a given powder and part dimensions will increase first part yield. In Phase I, we envisage a DOE (Design of Experiments) approach of varying key build parameters for a selected set of part elements that would enable a better understanding of the process, and provide data to anchor models of the build process. This effort will be restricted to Ti:6A:4V, the most mature alloy for the EBM process. Our partner, CalRAM Inc, is a veteran-owned small business and the premier commercial manufacturer of aerospace parts made by EBM in the USA. Modeling success will enable improved part yield for EBM manufacturers, with potentially successful first part yields for lots sizes of one to a few. Improved yield is critical for commercially viable additive manufacturing and part qualification for aerospace. BENEFIT: Improved acceptance of additive manufacturing of metal parts for aerospace predicated on reduced cost, resulting from fewer scrapped parts, and the metadata necessary for part qualification. Commercial application could be a product to sell to additive manufacturing foundries or a product licensed to the machine manufacturer for incorporation into machine control software. The approach we advocate could be applied to other additive manufacturing methods.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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