Project Call: ATRQ

ATRQ Project Concept Submissions are Due by Wednesday, November 28, 2018

DIRECTED PROJECT OPPORTUNITY

ATRQ – Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification

America Makes proudly announces its next Directed Project Opportunity made available today to its members for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development (R&D) projects for Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification (ATRQ), funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Office (OSD/MIBP) through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity seeks to promote and accelerate the development and deployment of innovative, cost effective, energy-efficient AM technologies with the objective of meeting defense and/or commercial needs.

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and OSD/AFRL are targeting to make available approximately $3.9M to fund multiple awards with at least $1.95M in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $5.9M.

As with all America Makes project calls, the technical requirements of the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity directly relate to the America Makes Technology Roadmap, which identifies measurable and meaningful challenges that, when met, promote inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and technical advancements across the AM industry. ATRQ aligns to multiple swim lanes of the Technology Roadmap, including Design, Material, and Process. America Makes members can access the Technology Roadmap via the America Makes Digital Storefront for more information.

The focus of the AAPT Directed Project is of particular interest to AFRL as it seeks to further expand the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) for critical parts. However, the risk of employing AM technologies like SLM derives from the cost and uncertainty imposed by some of the pre- and post- processing steps that occur ‘outside the box’ of the AM machine remains a major concern and prohibitive for wider adoption. The current lack of a consensus of best practices for material handling and post-processing leads to high variability and massive qualification challenges, invariably leading to higher costs to adopt and employ AM technologies.

In addition, the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity also supports the Integrated DoD AM Roadmap, which America Makes facilitated the development of in 2016 in order to provide a foundation and framework for focusing desired collaboration and coordination of the DoD’s activities in AM to systematically and efficiently mature the technology for multiple DoD applications. Specific requirements from the DoD AM Roadmap can also be found on the America Makes website.

Technical Topics

The three (3) technical topics for the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity are as follows.

1. Surrogate Damage Generation for LPBF Defects
2. Degradation of Polymer Parts Deployed in Harsh Environments
3. Corrosion Mechanisms of LPBF Materials

1. Surrogate Damage Generation for LPBF Defects

Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) has demonstrated the ability to repeatably create geometrically complex parts from a number of useful metal alloys. As with any process, however, there are defects that are potentially generated during the course of processing, many of which have a unique context within the LPBF process, including, but not limited to, lack of fusion defects, keyhole porosity, clusters of aligned porosity, powder short feed, and delaminations.

The goal of this topic area is to gain an understanding of the key failure modes and material anomalies in LPBF as it is crucial to making progress in model-informed and analysis-based qualification approaches. To that end, the DoD seeks proposals to identify processes and methods to introduce reproducible, controlled, and representative defects into specific locations of otherwise high-quality AM material. Factors that must be defined and controlled for these surrogate defects include, but are not limited to, flaw type, flaw size, flaw orientation, and flaw location. Demonstration of the correlation in mechanical debits between these surrogate defects and experienced defects in production material, as well as the comparative inspection response of the surrogate defect when compared to the naturally occurring defect, are desired.

Material systems of interest include nickel superalloys, high-strength steels and stainless steels, and aerospace grade titaniums.

America Makes is anticipating multiple awards, up to $800K per project.

2. Degradation of Polymer Parts Deployed in Harsh Environments

The performance limitations of AM materials subjected to the demanding environments detected in-theater and in-service have constrained the adoption of novel technologies and solutions, such as AM that could increase operational readiness and capability. Some challenges already observed for deployed additively manufactured parts include unique corrosion performance; unusual wear and fatigue properties in service; and ultraviolet exposure and/or thermal degradation.

The goal of this topic area is to evaluate degradation mechanisms for additively manufactured polymer-based parts exposed to harsh environmental conditions that may be experienced in-theater, such as in shipboard or desert deployments. Specifically, the OSD/MIBP and the Joint Additive Manufacturing Working Group (JAMWG) seek to quantify material property debits and service life estimates for polymer-based AM materials and processes and provide DoD personnel with improved assessment capability of the risks and trade-offs of using polymer AM parts when deployed in field use or harsh service environments. Documented service limits, service life, and mitigation approaches that can prolong part life and improve part performance are of interest in this topic area with the desired outcome being a service guide for AM materials.

The following prioritized list of AM materials has been identified as high priorities by the JAMWG for further study:

  • PET-G
  • ABS
  • Ultem 9085
  • Nylon-11/12

America Makes is anticipating multiple awards, up to $800K per project.

3. Corrosion Mechanisms of LPBF Materials

The performance limitations of AM materials subjected to the demanding environments detected in-theater and in-service have constrained the adoption of novel technologies and solutions, such as AM that could increase operational readiness and capability. Some challenges already observed for deployed additively manufactured parts include unique corrosion performance of AM materials and novel geometries. The high cooling rates that produce microstructures and non-equilibrium phases in AM materials have raised concerns about localized corrosion modes in a range of applications.

The goal of this topic area is test and evaluate localized corrosion issues in 17-4PH steel, In 625, or AlSi10Mg because of their pervasive use in a variety of DoD hardware applications. Proposals should choose what corrosion modes to characterize (galvanic, stress corrosion cracking, pitting, erosion corrosion, crevice corrosion, corrosion fatigue, etc.) as a function of alloy microstructure, porosity, surface roughness, and/or corrosive environment. Such characterization should advance understanding of AM vs. traditional service life of the selected alloy subjected to similar environments and conditions; establish authoritative AM materials property data; and support DoD efforts to generate AM metal corrosion guidance and industry accepted standards and specifications.

America Makes is anticipating multiple awards, up to $800K per project.

Technical Requirements

All the technical requirements of the ATRQ Directed Project are detailed fully in the Request for Proposal (RFP) document.

Industry Day at MMX

America Makes held a live in-person Industry Day presentation at MMX on October 31.

The following is the Industry Day recording:

Project Call Proposal Process

For the ATRQ Directed Project, proposers will follow the established two-phase America Makes Project Call Proposal Process:

PHASE 1

Deadline: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Proposers are required to first fill out a Project Concept form, summarizing their team’s high-level technical approach and technology transition requirements. Proposal teams have 30 days to prepare the Project Concept form.

All Project Concept forms are due by 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Submissions must be e-mailed to projectcall@americamakes.us with “America Makes ATRQ PROJECT CONCEPT” as the Subject line. 

Proposers do not have to be an America Makes member at this phase to submit a Project Concept form.

PHASE 2

Deadline: Friday, January 25, 2019

America Makes will then review the Project Concept forms submitted by Wednesday, November 28, 2018, and proceed with a down-select process. Only those project teams that pass the down-select process will move forward to the full Proposal phase.

America Makes will notify all submission teams to whether or not they will be proceeding to the full Proposal phase. No detailed feedback will be provided at that time.

In the Proposal phase, project teams will develop a full proposal as in previous project calls. Proposal teams will have approximately 30 days to submit their full proposals to America Makes, which are due on Friday, January 25, 2018.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the ATRQ America Makes Project Call, a lead proposer must be an America Makes member by Friday, January 4, 2019. Information on how to join America Makes is available on the membership page. (Note: The foreign membership approval process requires a minimum of three weeks to complete.) Participants of the lead proposer’s team may be made up of America Makes members and non-members.

Dates/Deadlines:

Project Call Announcement and Posting 10/24/2018
Project Call – Live in-person Industry Day 10/31/2018
Industry Day Live Recording Released on this web page 11/05/2018
Questions from Proposers about Scope or Approach Due 11/09/2018
Responses to Proposers about Scope or Approach Due
(All questions and responses will be shared with all proposers on this page.)
11/14/2018
Fully Executed NDA with NCDMM (if proposal contains proprietary information) 11/14/2018
Project Concept Submission Due Date 11/28/2018
Anticipated Decision and Notification to Project Concept Teams who are being asked to Submit Full Proposals 12/19/2018
Full Project Proposal Submission Due Date 01/25/2019
Anticipated Decision and Selection of Projects 03/01/2018
Anticipated Date to have ALL Projects on Contract 05/01/2018

Award Announcements

The America Makes ATRQ Directed Project award announcements will occur by March 2019. The anticipated start date of the projects is May 2019.

(a) Added: November 1, 2018
(b) Added: November 5, 2018
(c) Updated: November 5, 2018
(d) Added: November 14, 2018

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