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Making additive accessible

UDRI receives OFRN funding for additive manufacturing R&D, innovations to help Ohio businesses become more competitive

The Ohio Federal Research Network has awarded $1.1 million to the Center of Excellence for Materials and Manufacturing—a multi-university research network led by UDRI’s Multi-Scale Composites & Polymers division—for R&D in advanced composites, specifically to help reduce the time and cost associated with manufacturing composite structures for aircraft.

Researcher Steve Szaruga, who works in MCP's Nano-Enhanced Composites group and serves as technical director for the center, said significant reductions in manufacturing time and cost are needed in order for the aerospace industry to more readily adopt composites in aerospace structures.

The program will encompass two focus areas, the first of which will be to reduce the cost of manufacturing tooling.

Scott Huelskamp will lead the effort to develop advanced additive manufacturing processes that will allow even complex geometry tools to be created at a fraction of the cost of conventionally machined metal tools.

The second focus area—led by Tim Osborn—will be to develop computer-based models that will allow manufacturers to better predict the cost of developing a composite part. Estimating the cost of introducing a new part to their product lines has been difficult, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. The models will allow them to select designs that will perform well and that can be easily manufactured.

UDRI will partner with Case Western Reserve, Ohio State, Wright State and Youngstown State universities and the University of Cincinnati on this program.

Dec. 16, 2016

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