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Neutron Characterization for Additive ManufacturingOak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is leveraging decades of experience in neutron characterization of advanced materials together with resources such as the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) shown in Fig. 1 to solve challenging problems in additive manufacturing (AM). Additive manufacturing, or three-dimensional (3-D) printing, is a rapidly maturing technology wherein components are built by selectively adding feedstock material at locations specified by a computer model. The majority of these technologies use thermally driven phase change mechanisms to convert the feedstock into functioning material. As the molten material cools and solidifies, the component is subjected to significant thermal gradients, generating significant internal stresses throughout the part (Fig. 2). As layers are added, inherent residual stresses cause warping and distortions that lead to geometrical differences between the final part and the original computer generated design. This effect also limits geometries that can be fabricated using AM, such as thin-walled, high-aspect- ratio, and overhanging structures. Distortion may be minimized by intelligent toolpath planning or strategic placement of support structures, but these approaches are not well understood and often "Edisonian" in nature. Residual stresses can also impact component performance during operation. For example, in a thermally cycled environment such as a high-pressure turbine engine, residual stresses can cause components to distort unpredictably. Different thermal treatments on as-fabricated AM components have been used to minimize residual stress, but components still retain a nonhomogeneous stress state and/or demonstrate a relaxation-derived geometric distortion. Industry, federal laboratory, and university collaboration is needed to address these challenges and enable the U.S. to compete in the global market. Work is currently being conducted on AM technologies at the ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) sponsored by the DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office. The MDF is focusing on R&D of both metal and polymer AM pertaining to in-situ process monitoring and closed-loop controls; implementation of advanced materials in AM technologies; and demonstration, characterization, and optimization of next-generation technologies. ORNL is working directly with industry partners to leverage world-leading facilities in fields such as high performance computing, advanced materials characterization, and neutron sciences to solve fundamental challenges in advanced manufacturing. Specifically, MDF is leveraging two of the world's most advanced neutron facilities, the HFIR and SNS, to characterize additive manufactured components.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Watkins, Thomas
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Bilheux, Hassina
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
An, Ke
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Payzant, Andrew
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
DeHoff, Ryan
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Duty, Chad
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Peter, William
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Blue, Craig
(Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Brice, Craig A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 19, 2014
Publication Date
March 1, 2013
Publication Information
Publication: Advanced Materials
Volume: 171
Issue: 3
Subject Category
Metals And Metallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 473452.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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