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Schematic of the program’s technical approach further broken down into multiple sub-objectives to provide additional details.
Aging domestic supply chains for cast HY80 steel leaves U.S. industrial base at risk of keeping up with future Department of Defense (DoD) demand, causing the need for foreign sources, which presents a high risk for defense applications. Foreign supply chains can be volatile and not subject to U.S. regulations and oversight, hurting warfighter readiness, and raising opportunities for foreign actors to destabilize US base. Having supply chains in countries whose values are not aligned with U.S. interests could also undermine U.S. foreign policies and impact the economics of domestic steel plants. Thus, the DoD is weakened as the “alarming import surge poses unprecedented threats to the long-term viability of our steel sector, which is vital to our military, preparedness, and disaster response needs.”
Wire-Arc Directed Energy Deposition (DED) is capable of flexibly printing large parts at high deposition rates; coupled with advanced ICME modeling tools (e.g., thermodynamic and kinetic modeling, finite element modeling), HY80 or alternatives can be printed creating more resilient domestic supply chains for Navy orders. This effort will deliver a demonstrated and qualified data package for HY80 (or eq.) to S9074- A4-GIB-010/AM-WIRE DED. The objective of Phase I is to produce down-selected feedback wire material compositions and build parameters. The goals of potential future Phase II work would include further optimization of the material and build process and achieving full scale procedure demonstration.
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)/Mississippi State University (MSU)/Solvus Global team will employ an Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) approach combining physics-based materials modeling and simulation tools with targeted wire-arc DED experimental validation and demonstration, to deliver a qualified data package for HY-80 or equivalent steels to S9074-A4-GIB-010/AM-WIRE DED. WPI will lead high throughput thermodynamic and kinetic modeling, MSU will carry out finite element modeling, and Solvus Global will perform experimental wire-arc DED tasks.
The team has previously deployed a thermo-microstructural modeling workflow for optimizing build windows for wire-arc DED Maraging 250 Steel capable of reaching 200 kilo-pounds per square inch (ksi) + ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and 8%+ elongation. It included modeling key thermal attributes of the build strategy, then evaluating resultant microstructures via microstructural modeling and experimental characterization, and then finally optimizing the build strategy to ensure consistent peak performance of the material. The team will also leverage its involvement in development and qualification of CP-Titanium for 8” Gate Valves in collaboration with the Submarine Industrial Base Task Force, where Solvus Global will be the first entity qualified to NAVSEA S9074-A4-GIB-010/AM-WIRE DED Tech Pub with its wire-arc DED CP-Titanium exceeding the performance of cast titanium for all metrics.
Under this America Makes effort, the team will deploy a similar framework following the modeling/experimental efforts for
Maraging 250 and the qualification efforts for CP-Titanium described above, including both welding and post-process heat treatments for HY80-like performance.