Additive Manufacturing (AM) will play a large role in the development for NASA’s next generation of space flight systems. However, without a deeper understanding of various additive processes available, it is difficult to use the technologies reliably. In order to predict the results for dimensional accuracy, microstructure formation, and defect initiation points, FormAlloy and New Mexico State University proposes to develop a data-driven model of the directed energy deposition (DED) process. The models will be derived from data generated by in-situ monitoring with acoustic emissions (AE), thermal, and vision sensing modalities during deposition process and mechanical, metallurgical, and nonlinear ultrasound evaluations post-build.
The sensing modalities will be installed within one of FormAlloy’s award-winning DED systems and data will be collected during the deposition of two materials of interest for NASA, Inconel 625 and GRCop-42. Several parameter sets will be utilized to generate samples for evaluation with a wide range of microstructures and mechanical properties. The approach presented here shall potentially set the framework other material systems within DED and other AM processes of interest, such as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). Once the models are validated, FormAlloy and NMSU would proceed with a Phase II to develop a software package to deliver accelerated development cycles and improved part quality for additive manufacturing processes.
The proposed solution of creating a data-driven model of the DED process will inspire confidence and help develop a deeper understanding of the AM process for future NASA designs and applications. The DED process is an AM technology of interest due its ability to manufacture large parts and with multiple materials within the same build. By having a model of the process to predict where issues may arise during the build process, NASA would reduce the cycle time in developing new propulsion hardware.
By commercializing a modeling software that promotes defect-free builds within a DED technology capable of build multi-material large components, FormAlloy would distinguish itself further amidst the DED competition and AM technologies available. The software generated within a Phase II proposal can help the various industries develop a deeper understanding of the growing AM technologies.