Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing for Naval Transducer Development

Period of Performance: 05/07/2012 - 03/08/2013

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Solidica, Inc.
5840 Interface Drive Suite 20
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The purpose of this team effort by Solidica and Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation-Advanced Acoustics Section effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of using Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) to build major components of an underwater sonar transducer. UAM has the ability to create new features that both aid in assembly and improve performance. Additionally, the technology has the potential to embed one material in another, opening a new and exciting design opportunity for sonar engineers. Production of these underwater sonar transducers requires the integration and bonding of structural, piezoelectric, and conductive materials and is often labor intensive and costly. This effort seeks to reduce transducer costs while preserving reliability. Phase I research will identify the portions of underwater slotted cylinder transducer manufacturing for which additive methods can be applied, using an UAM approach for at least 50% of the device. Phase II development will produce a tested device that approximates the form, fit and function of an equivalent device currently in use by the Navy. The device will be demonstrated and compared to the equivalent transducer manufactured by traditional methods.