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Murr L.E.,University of Texas at El Paso | Martinez E.,University of Texas at El Paso | Gaytan S.M.,University of Texas at El Paso | Ramirez D.A.,University of Texas at El Paso | And 8 more authors.
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science | Year: 2011

Microstructures and a microstructural, columnar architecture as well as mechanical behavior of as-fabricated and processed INCONEL alloy 625 components produced by additive manufacturing using electron beam melting (EBM) of prealloyed precursor powder are examined in this study. As-fabricated and hot-isostatically pressed ("hipped") [at 1393 K (1120 °C)] cylinders examined by optical metallography (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive (X-ray) spectrometry (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) exhibited an initial EBM-developed γ″ (bct) Ni3Nb precipitate platelet columnar architecture within columnar [200] textured γ (fcc) Ni-Cr grains aligned in the cylinder axis, parallel to the EBM build direction. Upon annealing at 1393 K (1120 °C) (hot-isostatic press (HIP)), these precipitate columns dissolve and the columnar, γ, grains recrystallized forming generally equiaxed grains (with coherent {111} annealing twins), containing NbCr2 laves precipitates. Microindentation hardnesses decreased from ~2.7 to ~2.2 GPa following hot-isostatic pressing ("hipping"), and the corresponding engineering (0.2 pct) offset yield stress decreased from 0.41 to 0.33 GPa, while the UTS increased from 0.75 to 0.77 GPa. However, the corresponding elongation increased from 44 to 69 pct for the hipped components. © 2011 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International.

Ciscel D.,CalRAM, Inc.
Manufacturing Engineering | Year: 2014

The article describes how electron beam melting 3D printing process lets maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) part-replacement problems take a powder in the aerospace industry. A cost-effective manufacturing technology is revolutionizing titanium parts manufacturing for the aerospace and defense industries. CaIRAM fabricates three-dimensional, near-net shape components by melting titanium powders one-layer at a time an electron beam. When compared to traditional manufacturing methods, the cost and time saving benefits that result from this additive process make it obvious why firms seek out this technology.

Porter J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Wooten J.,CalRAM, Inc. | Harrysson O.,North Carolina State University | Knowlson K.,North Carolina State University
Materials Science and Technology Conference and Exhibition 2011, MS and T'11 | Year: 2011

Gamma-TiAl (γ-TiAl) is a critical and very attractive material for use in high temperature applications because of its mechanical characteristics; however, it is difficult and expensive to fabricate by traditional manufacturing processes. A collaborative program was conducted to investigate the ability to fabricate near-net shaped γ-TiAl by electron beam melting (EBM) manufacturing. A team, led by UCI, developed the EBM process parameters for γ-TiAl and fabricated test pieces for evaluation. Microstructural and chemical analyses were performed on the test pieces to characterize the material and compare it to traditionally-fabricated γ-TiAl. Heat treatment experiments were performed and the resulting microstructure analyzed. Finally, geometrical shapes were produced and, using these processing parameters, prototype rotating parts were fabricated. This paper will review the work and show examples of the parts produced. Recommendations for follow on work will be shared. Copyright © 2011 MS&T'11®.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.97K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: The overall goal of the Phase II effort is to take CalRAM"s Additive Manufacturing process, based on Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, to the point where it is ready to fabricate titanium hardware for Liquid Rocket Engine(LRE)production. Phase II will focus on demonstrating the EBM process to produce and evaluate LRE components. In addition to the work performed on titanium alloy components, effort to develop a nickel-base alloy for use in LRE will be performed. The final Phase II activity will be focused on scaling up the process to produce larger LRE components. BENEFIT: The benefits of employing EBM fabrication for LRE components are (1) the parts can be made faster because the process is tool-less; (2) for quantities typically used in LRE manufacture, the parts are less expensive; (3) the mechanical behavior of EBM fabricated titanium meets or exceeds that fabricated by traditional manufacturing methods; (4) Since the process is tool-less, as design concepts are tested and performance validated, it is possible to immediately implement design changes. This flexibility allows for greatly reducing the development time. Development of EBM technology for DOD LRE is directly applicable to LRE used to launch commercial payloads.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 778.13K | Year: 2012

In 2010, CalRAM was awarded a Phase I SBIR to produce lightweight, low-cost precision seeker gimbals for high volume production that can operate in military aviation environments. Using an additive manufacturing technology based on electron beam melting (EBM), CalRAM built a near-net shape Ti-6Al-4V gimbal ring. In addition, a manufacturing cell capable of producing gimbal rings in quantities to support a production line was designed. For the Phase II program, CalRAM will work with Lockheed Martin to develop an EBM design and fabricate and test approximately 20 gimbal rings. A detailed design of the manufacturing cell will be developed along with work instructions for each work station. A manufacturing and quality plan for the production of the gimbal rings will be prepared and preproduction readiness review will be held to demonstrate the viability of the manufacturing approach. As part of this effort cost and schedule metrics will be developed to demonstrate the feasibility of meeting the cost target and delivery requirements.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.66K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: This project will develop a methodology to assist Air Force Sustainment Centers (AFSC) sustainment engineers and procurement personnel to rapidly acquire certified parts using Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies. AFSC are experiencing difficulty in supporting military hardware as many systems are beyond expected service life and require significant maintenance. The U.S. industrial base is shrinking and AFSC procurement offices have fewer options when placing orders to support these aging systems. AFSC buyers frequently wait a month for a quote after they have found a capable supplier. Fortunately AM technologies have the potential to ameliorate many of these problems. However, with any emerging technology, it is difficult to compare, contrast and apply the most appropriate technology for the fabrication of replacement components. As such, CalRAM will provide AFSC personnel the ability to quickly determine if a part is a candidate for an AM process, select the process, and place an order for a part. AM quotes can be generated in hours. The methodology will consist of a set of"Filters"that eliminate simple or common parts like nuts and bolts and focus on high payoff parts to be produced by the best value AM process. BENEFIT: A methodology will be established to rapidly screen candidate legacy parts for fabrication by Additive Manufacturing (AM). AM parts are capable of providing the same quality as conventionally fabricated parts, but with much reduced cost and schedule.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.85K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: The designs of complex liquid rocket engine components are limited by the manufacturing processes used to build them. Traditional manufacturing processes, such as, casting or forging and machining, although capable of producing high-quality hardware, are expensive and time consuming. CalRAM, Inc. has been developing an additive manufacturing process, Electron Beam Melting (EBM) manufacturing, which can help the AFRL achieve IHPRPT"s goals. The layer-build process produces near-net shape components directly from a CAD file by melting powder with an electron beam and does NOT need tooling to manufacture"functional"hardware. The overall Phase I Objective is to demonstrate the feasibility and benefit of EBM manufacturing with respect to producibility (cost and quality), fabrication time and material properties to achieve IHPRPT goals. A shrouded titanium impeller will be EBM manufactured and spin tested to demonstrate the ability of the process to meet the IHPRPT goals. In addition, alternative materials will be explored and evaluated. BENEFIT: If the project is funded, there are four anticipated results from Phase I: 1. The successful spin test of a shrouded upper stage titanium impeller will show that EBM manufacturing can produce a complex structure capable of meeting the structural loads. In addition, the cryogenic behavior of EBM manufactured Ti will be confirmed to meet or exceed Ti-5Al-2.5Sn ELI properties. 2. Feasibility to produce EBM manufactured Alloy 625 with a uniform, dense microstructure and comparable mechanical properties to conventionally produced Alloy 625 will have been demonstrated. 3. Producibility, cost and schedule of an EBM manufactured titanium impeller that helps the AFRL meet Phase III IHPRPT goals will have been generated. 4. A path to scale up the EBM process to produce booster size components will have been laid out.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

CalRAM, Inc., a small-veteran owned company, has been developing a capability for producing near-net shape titanium components directly from CAD files. The process uses a layer-build or additive manufacturing process to build 3-D structures by melting titanium powder directly with an electron beam. The mechanical properties are comparable to conventionally fabricated Ti-6Al-4V. Working with Aerojet of Sacramento, CA, CalRAM proposes to demonstrate that electron beam melting manufacturing is a feasible process to produce the SM-3 Divert Dome at a reduced cost while simultaneously improving the production reliability. This will be accomplished by manufacturing the part in one piece eliminating all of the machining and joining presently used to manufacture the component.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 733.17K | Year: 2011

This project will develop the capability to produce naval missile lattice block structures for leading edge components using electron beam melted gamma phase titanium aluminide powder. This is a materials, process, and component development effort. Suitable powder will be purchased and electron beam melting process parameters developed to melt powder into near net shape coupons for properties testing. Modeling using these properties will be done to develop lattice block structures for candidate parts. Selected parts will be built and tested. Designs will be iterated and retested. The final design will meet requirements for missile structure leading edges for the SM-3 and SM-6 programs. Weight savings will be quantified and preparations for integration with production hardware will be started. Cost savings estimates will be made.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 69.51K | Year: 2010

Lightweight gimbal assemblies capable of meeting both thermal and structural requirements in military aviation environments can be accomplished through the use of titanium alloys. However, to achieve a production unit cost not to exceed $600-$1200 per gimbal assembly for a seeker gimbal assembly based on expectations for 20,000 to 30,000 gimbals is very challenging. CalRAM, Inc, a company established to do additive manufacturing, has been developing a near-net shape fabrication process capable of generating titanium components with physical and mechanical properties comparable to wrought titanium. The “tool-less” process called Electron Beam Melting (EBM) manufacturing produces parts directly from CAD files, uses an electron beam as the energy source and melts titanium powder in a heated powder bed. Since the process builds parts one-layer at a time, several details can be integrated into each layer reducing part count. CalRAM’s vision to accomplish the high-volume and low-cost targets will be to create a dedicated manufacturing cell based on EBM fabrication coupled with CNC machining, inspection, cleaning and packaging. The goal of Phase I is to develop a recommendation for the leading approach to produce gimbal assemblies for Phase II.

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