Two professors at LSU’s College of Engineering are working with NASA to advance additively manufactured alloys to help reduce cost and lead times.
Shengmin Guo and Michael Khonsari have been experimenting with alloys used in liquid rocket engine components made by AM methods such as laser powder-bed fusion (L-PBF) and laser powder-directed energy deposition (LP-DED). When NASA makes parts using AM, they cost 50% less to produce than parts made with traditional manufacturing. Traditional parts can take a year to make. However, the same part can be made in just a few weeks using AM methods in a few weeks.
L-PBF metallic 3D parts are fabricated by sequentially and selectively melting thin powder layers according to CAD-directed laser scanning strategies. LP-DED allows for large AM parts to be fabricated with a deposition head attached to a robot based on a CAD-directed toolpath.