Jan 17, 2018 | By Benedict

A metal additive manufacturing project organized by Arconic, LLNL, and ORNL has received $300,000 in funding, split evenly between the Office of Fossil Energy’s HPC4Mtls program and the Advanced Manufacturing Office’s HPC4Mfg program.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the funding of several public-private projects for improving energy. As part of the HPC4Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program, the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) has announced the funding of $1.87 million for seven new industry projects that use the department’s high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance U.S. manufacturing and clean energy.

Additionally, under the new HPC4Materials for Severe Environments (HPC4Mtls) program, the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships in the program, which aims to discover, design, and scale up production of novel materials for severe environments.

Perhaps surprisingly, one ambitious project has received funding from both DOE initiatives, scooping $150,000 from each for a total of $300,000. That project is led by Arconic, which will be working with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to improve microstructure modeling of 3D printed metal parts.

Arconic is a lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing company based in Pittsburgh, PA, and was founded in 2016 following the split of Alcoa Inc. into the Alcoa Corporation (mining and manufacturing raw aluminum) and Arconic (processing aluminum and other metals).

The company’s newly funded project aims to accelerate industry discovery, design, and development of new or modified materials for severe environments, providing essential information for tailoring mechanical performances of 3D printed alloys by controlling their solidification microstructures.

Interestingly, the Arconic project isn’t the only additive manufacturing scheme to receive funding from the DOE in this latest round of funding. As part of the HPC4Mfg program, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is partnering with 3D printing company Vader Systems on computational modeling of liquid metal 3D printing. The funding allocation for Vader Systems has not been disclosed.

The HPC4Mfg program was initiated in 2015, and has previously carried out three other rounds of funding. Its aim is to address complex challenges with high-performance computing in order to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and maintain American competitiveness. Other projects funded during this latest round included those organized by Caterpillar, Eaton Corporation, and others.

The HPC4Mtls program, on the other hand, is brand new, with Arconic being one of the first recipients of its funds. The program’s aims include predicting behavior in severe environments, improving alloy performance, scaling up materials, and better understanding critical processes like oxidation, corrosion, and electrochemical interactions

“This is a new pillar under the HPC4EnergyInnovation program umbrella that will have an impact across a broad spectrum of industries and energy offices who need accelerated materials research,” said LLNL’s deputy director for Energy and Climate Security Jeff Roberts. “The national labs will bring significant expertise to help companies discover, make, and manufacture new materials to perform in extreme conditions.”

A year ago, Arconic came up with the radical concept of a skyscraper made with 3D printed materials. The idea was part of an advertising campaign based on The Jetsons, a 1960s cartoon set in the year 2062.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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