Development of 7050 T-74 Aluminum Alloy Alternative for use in Additive Manufacturing (AM) Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-15-C-0295
Agency Tracking Number: N151-010-0569
Amount: $149,873.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2015
Solicitation Year: 2015
Solicitation Topic Code: N151-010
Solicitation Number: 2015.1
Small Business Information
1820 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL, 60201
DUNS: 088176961
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jason Sebastian
 (847) 425-8227
 jsebastian@questek.com
Business Contact
 Raymond Genellie
Title: Materials Engineer
Phone: (847) 425-8211
Email: rgenellie@questek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Additive Manufacturing (AM) promises to be an innovative technology that can enable rapid manufacturing of complex parts at greatly reduced cycle time. Application of this technology to the manufacture of aircraft structural components is limited by the lack of high-strength aluminum alloys optimized for AM processing. In this Phase I SBIR program, QuesTek Innovations, a leader in the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME), proposes to develop a new class of 7000-series aluminum alloys optimized for AM. QuesTek is uniquely suited to rapidly designing new aluminum alloys for AM using its Materials by Design stage-gate development process, which is based upon computationally-implemented mechanistic models to predict process-structure and structure-property relationships. QuesTeks alloy design strategy will target an optimization of conventional Al-Zn-based alloys against the characteristic hot tearing susceptibility that currently limits the AM processability of high-strength aluminum alloys (such as 7050-T74).
Engineers at Northrop Grumman and Boeing have expressed direct interest in the development of new Al-based alloys for AM, and will act define material property objectives for aircraft structural components. QuesTek is teaming with 3DSIM and LPW Technology to link microstructural prediction to processing variables and accelerate specification development for the new alloy. Technical feasibility will be demonstrated in Phase I using pilot-scale powder production and DMLS processing in partnership with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. QuesTeks partnership provides a close collaboration between material design, powder development, AM processing, and OEM.

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

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