Super Finishing of Printed Metallic Parts for High Performance Naval Systems

Project: Research project

Project Details


There is tremendous excitement about the emergence and growth of metal printing technologies. This stems from their ability to fabri'cate parts with: 1) topology optimized shapes and complex lattice structures for light weighting, 2) complex internal cavities and p''assageways such as conformal cooling channels, and functionally graded metals. This in turns allows for the creationof a single par''t that has the functionality of a multi-part assembly, but with greater reliability. Unfortunately metal printing is a near net shap'e process that creates a rough surface texture. Superfinishing processes must be applied to these surfaces to smoothen them and impr'ove surface integrity. Without superfinishing, printed metal parts are not suitable for use in demanding navalapplications where fa'tigue resistance and corrosion resistance are critical or where surfaces must direct fluid flow without turbulence. Unfortunately al'l of the attributes that make metal printing attractive, also make the superfinishing of printed metal parts an extreme challenge. S'o much so that barriers to successful superfinishing threaten to hinder the migration of printed parts into high performance naval systems. This proposal seeks funding for the acquisition of a superfinishing system to be housed in the Factory of Advanced Manufactu'ring Laboratory at Penn State University. The system will be used to research: 1) the effects of superfinishing on the topography, m''icrostructure, and integrity of surfaces printed from alloy systems commonly used for navalapplications, including functionally gra''ded metals, 2) advanced heat exchanger design and processing 3) mechanistic process models that can used to substantially reduce the'' lead time and cost of superfinishing printed metal parts, 4) physics based process models that can be used to improve the performan''ce of each technology and potentially support their hybridization. Researchers, undergraduate students, and graduate students will d'irectly benefit from access to this superfinishing system in a range of existing and new research programs as well as advanced engineering curricula. The system will also enhance Penn State~s current strength in AM research.

Effective start/end date1/26/18 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $537,178.00


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