Demonstration of Combinatorial Additive Manufacturing Approach for the Design of Alloys

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 03/11/2018

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiabeam Technologies, LLC
1713 Stewart Street Array
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Combinatorial material science takes advantage of technologies that make it possible to prepare a large number of material compositions in a single process, along with efficient assaying and sorting methods, to create and identify new desirable material compositions. Past and current efforts using combinatorial material science to create new alloy compositions, and in particular high-entropy alloys (HEAs), have only explored a very limited design space due to lack of suitable material alloying technologies. The proposed project explores the use of electron beam melting (EBM) additive manufacturing (AM) as a combinatorial method to design and optimize metallic alloys and heterogeneous structures. In particular, in Phase I we will develop and test multi-material processing for the EBM AM platform to create customizable alloy spanning the full range of alloy compositions. In Phase II, we will implement this capability into the EBM AM platform, develop an alloy library, then down-select the best performers based on their measured material properties. In Phase I we will experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of the EBM AM combinatorial approach, design the Electrostatic Multi-Powder Dispenser (EMPD) system, fabricate and characterize a bench-top EMPD prototype, develop machine learning algorithms for parameter optimization, and specify plans for the Phase II prototype demonstration. Upon development, the EBM AM combinatorial process of manufacturing new alloys can be sold or licensed to material science laboratories, and industry. The method would offer a significant improvement in the study, discovery, and processing of new alloys exhibiting a combination of superior mechanical and corrosion resistances properties with better strength-to- weight ratios. This makes HEAs ideal for just about any demanding structural, electrical, magnetic, high-temperature, wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant application in just about all industry.