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Graded Alloy Transition Development (GRATD) employs Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME).
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a valuable enabler for rapidly manufacturing complex assemblies. The Office of the Under Secretary of Research and Engineering’s (OUSD R&E) Technology & Manufacturing Industrial Base in collaboration with the Assistant Director, Hypersonics has identified the development of AM for high-temperature metals as key to timely fielding of high-mach capabilities, addressing shortfalls of traditional manufacturing processes which are often costly, low-yield, and labor intensive. Additionally, aero-thermal environments experienced by hypersonic vehicles require joining dissimilar materials to reduce weight and increase thermal/structural performance. Developments in AM techniques for processing high-temperature and dissimilar material sets for high-mach applications are needed to exploit the advantages of AM.
This program aimed to develop graded alloy transitions for high-mach systems by demonstrating and validating the ability of AM techniques to achieve higher joint performance for a relevant material set compared to baseline processing/bonding method(s). This project sought to combine Boeing’s high-mach design knowledge and AM experience, QuesTek’s state-of-the-art integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) tools, and RPM Innovations proven powder feed direct energy deposition (DED) procedures and build parameters to develop additive-enabled leading and control fin edge transition joints.
The GRaded Alloy Transition Development (GRATD) project involved four primary tasks:
This project demonstrated the feasibility of using blown metal powder, Laser-Directed Energy Deposition (L-DED) Additive Manufacturing (AM) to deposit functionally-graded structural transitions between C103 niobium (Nb) alloy (niobium-hafnium-titanium [Nb-Hf-Ti]) and three (3) different Ti alloys – Titan-23, QuesTek-Ti, and Ti-6242. Key results, conclusions, and future activities are: