Pitt & ANSYS engineers to get USD 500,000 award

Additive manufacturing (AM) researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and simulation software company ANSYS, Inc. are among 13 university-led proposals to capture an Early Stage Innovations (ESI) grant from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants Program. The Pitt team’s three-year, USD 500,000 award, “Prediction of Microstructure Evolution in DMLM (Direct Material Laser Melting) processed Inconel 718 with Part Scale Simulation” was funded in the Modeling and Simulation-Based Certification of Additive Manufacturing Processing Parameters category. Principal investigator is Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and director of the ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory. Co-PI is Wei Xiong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and co-investigator is David Conover, chief technologist for mechanical products at ANSYS.
“Additive manufacturing now allows us to produce complex metal components that are strong enough to replace machined parts in mechanical applications. However, because of the process parameters and materials used in AM, the microstructure within a part or between different parts can vary widely,” Dr. To said. “Thanks to NASA, our research will focus on developing a new simulation tool to predict the microstructure evolution and stability of Inconel 718, a common nickel superalloy used in laser-based AM in industry.”
According to NASA, the goal of the Space Technology Research Grants program is to accelerate the development of space technologies in their earliest stages to enable future systems capabilities and missions for NASA, other government agencies and the commercial space sector.