Jun 23, 2017 | By Tess

A research team from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh have received $449,000 in funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to develop next-generation 3D printing metals, including a new type of steel which could be used in additive manufacturing.

The new metal will be a high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA), a type of steel well suited for naval building and repair applications. The research project itself, entitled “Integrated Computational Materials Design for Additive Manufacturing of High-Strength Steels Used in Naval Environments,” is being led by Dr. Wei Xiong, an assistant professor in the department on Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

The $449K in funding, which will span over a three-year period, was provided by the Additive Manufacturing Alloys for Naval Environments program, a division of the ONR which aims to “design, develop, and optimize” new metal alloys for 3D printing. Importantly, the metals being developed must be extremely resistant to corrosion in order to be suitable for at-sea applications.

 The steel powder being developed by the Pitt researchers will be the first of its kind, as no other HSLA steel currently exists for additive manufacturing use. “This is the first solicitation that comes from a funding agency, and I think it’s a very important one,” added Xiong.

Once developed, the material could prove extremely useful in repairing damaged ship parts, as it could allow for more effective in situ repairs. As Xiong explains, “If you have an additive manufacturing machine on the ship and the ship gets damaged, ideally people can directly repair the ship as opposed to going back to the harbor.”

The Pitt team, which also includes researchers Esta Abelev and Susheng Tan, will also be working on developing new toolkits for naval crews which could be stored and used at sea. There is no additional information about what these toolkits could comprise of.

In addition to naval-based applications, Xiong says the HSLA steel powder could also be useful in other fields and would be a general boon to the 3D printing industry because it is a “highly desirable” metallic powder. “It’s really pushing the progress of the current additive manufacturing technique, but more on the materials side,” he said.

As we at 3Ders know, the materials side is a crucial part of accelerating additive manufacturing, as a bigger materials market would significantly increase the potential applications for 3D printing. We’ll definitely be keeping tabs on any developments coming out of Xiong’s lab.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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amrithgowda wrote at 8/30/2017 9:16:20 PM:

Know more about HSLA...

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