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Characterization of Additive Manufacturing Materials

Summary:

Currently there is a lack of AM parts in high-performance applications, due to a lack of publicly available high-fidelity data that has associated metadata.1 Solving this problem is not trivial, since the large number of AM machine manufacturers, large number of process variables, evolution of machine control software/hardware versions, and the lack of standard measurement methods and test protocols for AM materials make it difficult and extremely expensive for private industry to develop consensus materials property data that has a good pedigree. This problem is also not currently solved in a uniform way. Rather, individual companies use home-made methods, or existing material standards that are not AM-specific, nor necessarily AM-appropriate, in a case-by-case manner. Our approach is to develop new characterization methods that expand or replace traditional material characterization methods in order to qualify and quantify the unique attribute of AM materials. NIST will deliver new measurement methods, protocols, exemplar data, and databases. The impact of these deliverables will be accelerated proliferation of AM parts in high-performance applications that can benefit from AM’s unique capabilities. This impact will be of particular benefit to those industries that can take advantage of highly-complex, customized metal parts that can be made via AM, such as the aerospace, bio-medical, and defense industries. It is appropriate for NIST to work on this, since, in addition to NIST’s traditional reputation of producing open and neutral solutions that benefit entire industries, NIST has the requisite standards leadership and world-class expertise in the multiple disciplines required for this product’s success.

Description:

Objective:

Deliver new standardized material characterization methods, exemplar data, and databases to accelerate the design and use of additive manufacturing parts in high-performance2 applications by the end of FY 2018.

What is the new technical idea?

Standardized methods for characterizing metal powders (from the powder metallurgy industry) and for characterizing the mechanical properties of metal parts already exist. However, these methods are not always applicable, in their current form, for AM parts and AM powders. These existing methods do provide the foundation for new, AM-specific characterization methods that will expand or replace these traditional material characterization methods in order to qualify and quantify the unique attributes of AM materials.

What is the research plan?


Our approach is to develop new characterization methods that expand or replace traditional material characterization methods in order to qualify and quantify the unique attribute of AM materials. These methods will be developed and applied to AM materials, especially those high-priority materials that are of particular interest to the aerospace industy, during the development of high-fidelity AM material property databases. Once these methods and databases are in place, the AM industry will have the tools needed to develop high-fidelity materials property data for AM materials.

In order to accomplish this we will (1) Empirically determine the dependence of AM part mechanical properties on input powder properties; (2) Develop new characterization methods for measuring the properties of AM parts and powders; (3) Design and construct an AM materials databse for high-fidelity material data; and (4) populate the database with exemplar data, garnered from round robin tests.

1By this we mean data that has associated with it a full understanding of how the data was generated, i.e., pedigreed data.
2High-performanc parts are critical parts in high-stress applications such as turbine blades or engine components.
Additive manufacturing material

Start Date:

October 1, 2013

Lead Organizational Unit:

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Contact
John Slotwinski, Project Leader

301 975 2171 Telephone
301 990 9688 Fax

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8230
Gaithersburg, MD 20899