International standards organization ASTM International, which is dedicated to serving global societal needs, announced in 2017 that it was setting up an Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE), and was in need of partners from industry, government, and academia to help launch the center. One of the first founding members of this new collaborative partnership was the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, together with Auburn University and EWI. At the time, John Vickers, NASA’s Principal Technologist in Additive Manufacturing, commented on its “decades-long relationship” with ASTM in developing aerospace and aviation standards that benefit the whole industry, and specifically NASA’s mission.
Now, the AM CoE announced that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with its partner NASA in order to, as an ASTM International press release states, “support activities of common interest.”
“We are excited for the opportunity to strengthen and expand our relationship with NASA. This partnership agreement will create a collaborative environment to advance additive manufacturing projects key to NASA’s future successes,” Mohsen Seifi, Ph.D., ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs, said in the release.
The purpose of the AM CoE is to conduct strategic R&D in order to speed up the development and adoption of innovative technologies, such as additive manufacturing, as well as advance standards for AM technologies. The new three-year contract, which is worth up to $750,000, will formalize, and be the impetus to grow, the partnership between NASA and the AM CoE.
Doug Wells, senior engineer at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, stated, “We have been supportive of the AM CoE from the very beginning and we know this continued partnership will yield quantifiable benefits to support NASA’s continued investment in AM technologies.”
As one of the AM CoE’s first members, NASA has specific roles in the supporting projects that will be developed in the new cooperative agreement with the AM CoE. The first of these will be centered around qualification procedures for laser beam powder bed fusion (LB-PBF) AM processes, which is a major barrier to AM adoption in a lot of applications. ASTM and its AM CoE have been focused on LB-PFB for a while now, proposing new guidelines for the AM process all the way back in 2014 and currently working to develop a common, open method to collect, process, and organize various AM data types collected by measurement devices that monitor the LB-PBF process and inspect the final parts.
Additionally, the AM CoE restructured its Industry Consortia not long ago, earmarking additional resources and improving the definitions of important roles, for the purposes of developing processes for generating AM data and creating material databases. The Consortia will be working with ASTM’s technical committees, including F42, to turn best practices and lessons learned into viable AM standards.
Finally, Richard Huff, who previously held the roles of Applications Director – Binder Jet AM for GE Additive and Engineering Technical Team Leader at Caterpillar Inc., has been tapped as ASTM’s new AM Business Development Manager. He will manage and expand partnerships, as well as the Industry Consortia, for the AM CoE.
(Source: ASTM International)
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