Florida International University (FIU) has received a five-year, $22.9 million grant from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory to advance additive manufacturing technologies that aid in the repair, design and durability of high-performance materials that will be used to manufacture next-generation vehicles and munitions.

“There is much potential for advancing this highly innovative technique,” said Arvind Agarwal, chair of FIU’s Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, director of the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute . “The research at FIU will primarily focus on the development of high-performance metallic materials, which are lightweight and of ultra-great strength, using Rapid Advanced Deposition (RAD) techniques including wire arc, solid-state cold spray and friction-stir additive manufacturing.”

The development of high deposition structural alloys and novel additive manufacturing processing techniques from computational models is essential toward the prediction of material properties and the implementation of new structural alloys into Army weapons systems.

Using state-of-the-art automation, solid 3D parts could be printed in minutes and last significantly longer once RAD techniques are applied. The process can be reduced to a portable handheld applicator, which makes it particularly useful in military field operations. The new research seeks to advance the scientific understanding of this process, while developing enhanced tools and techniques that allow production and repair of materials to be quick and cost-effective.

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