NCAME partners in $4M NSF project on rapid qualification for AM safety-critical components

Published: Apr 20, 2022 2:30 PM

By Jeremy Henderson

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) continued confidence in Auburn's National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence now includes a $4 million award for research on rapid qualification for additively manufactured (AM) safety-critical components used in the aviation, space and medical industries.

The project also includes researchers from Southern University and Louisiana State University.

NCAME researcher Shuai Shao and director Nima Shamsaei will work to establish an overall framework for additive manufacturing process design and rapid fatigue performance qualification.

"Lacking robust understanding on process-structure-property (PSP) relationships and thus a reliable qualification approach, present additive manufacturing part qualification efforts have been component testing-heavy, time consuming, and account for more than 50% of production cost," said Shao, associate professor of mechanical engineering. "Through this research, we want to establish a rapid qualification framework for AM parts that is based on a rich database of PSP relationships and non-destructive examination."

This particular project distinguishes itself from the center's extensive other qualification research thanks to the unique concept of “discrete building strategy sets (DBSS)."

"The DBSS feature varying processing and design parameters that lead to significant variations in thermal history that may be encountered during actual fabrication scenarios," said Shamsaei the Philpott-WestPoint Stevens Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering. "It is hypothesized that the mechanical performance of any complex shaped L-PBF parts can be derived from the PSP relationship obtained from a critical collection of DBSS.”

"Enabled by the team’s significant collective capability in multiscale materials characterization, testing, and simulations, the proposed PSP relationship database can be efficiently generated," Shamsaei said. “We are excited about our partnership with Southern University, the leading organization, and Louisiana State University on this project. Several regional and national industry partners are to be involved, and lessons learned are to be communicated to the ASTM F42 committee through NCAME’s partnership with ASTM Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE).”

The outcomes of the research will also significantly contribute to the education, training and development of a highly-skilled, multidisciplinary and diverse workforce to support the American additive industry.

That's where NCAME affiliated faculty member LaKami Baker comes in.

"Tightly knitted with the research tasks are several action plans for training the new generation of skilled workforce for the future of U.S. additive manufacturing, which range from recruiting and nurturing early-career faculty and curriculum development for university courses to undergraduate student training with industrial partners, offering training workshops to working professionals and startups, and K-12 outreach," said Baker, the Russell Foundation Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Auburn University Harbert College of Business. "It is anticipated that many individuals will be engaged in these extensive programmatic activities."

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
Shuai Shao, LaKami Baker and Nima Shamsaei

Shuai Shao, LaKami Baker and Nima Shamsaei

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