Cold Spray Technology for Agile, Sustainable Manufacturing
In a process similar to 3D printing, melting-based additive manufacturing generates three-dimensional objects from digital files. The process can produce high-value metallic components that are not easily manufactured through traditional methods. In one common technique, a laser moves like a printhead over thin layers of metallic powder. The laser melts the powder, layer by layer, into a solid, three-dimensional structure. How and where melting-based additive manufacturing may be used is limited, however, by the extremely high temperatures that the process requires and the large thermal gradients and rapid cooling rates that it involves.
With this CAREER award, Mostafa Hassani, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering, is pursuing cold spray technology that could overcome limitations of melting-based additive manufacturing. Using velocity rather than heat, cold spray technology starts with tiny powder particles and accelerates them to supersonic speeds. When the particles collide with an underlying material, they bond upon impact, forming a three-dimensional structure through the accumulation of particles. The goal of this research is to establish a unified framework to understand and predict critical mechanisms and variables governing the cold spray process and the mechanical behavior of the structures that it generates, including 1) critical velocity, 2) impact-induced microstructural development, 3) micro-scale bond strength, and 4) macro-scale mechanical properties of cold sprayed deposits.
This research supports development of cold spray additive manufacturing, a technology that could strengthen United States national defense by enabling sustainable and agile manufacturing and repair at the point of need. The results of this research may also be translated to other solid-state joining or additive technologies, with applications in aerospace, construction, and energy.