recent and ongoing projects

Our research aims to understand and harness the mechanisms that control microstructural evolution in advanced manufacturing platforms. We accomplish this by leveraging novel experiments and computational tools designed at capturing the real-time behavior of structural metals under various applied fields.

Our most recent work has focused on two specific areas: (1) Metals additive manufacturing (3D Printing) using both beam (SLM, DED) and non-beam (Binder jet) based technologies and (2) High energy synchrotron x-ray imaging of internal microstructure evolution and defect development in complex concentrated alloys (CCAs). Overall our goal is to understand, predict, and ultimately control fundamental process-structure-property relationships in metals at the mesoscale (~ 1m – 1mm) via coupled multi-physics experiments and simulations. 

Research Highlights

Understanding laser-material defects and phase evolution in metals additive manufacturing

We are seeking to elucidate defect and phase formation mechanisms encountered during the laser-material interaction in metal additive manufacturing (AM) alloys via novel experimental techniques involving synchrotron x-ray computed tomography (XCT), dynamic x-ray radiography/diffraction (DXR/DXD), and computational methods surrounding thermodynamic and kinetic simulations.

Understanding deformation mechanisms in complex concentrated alloys

In the past two decades, a novel class of materials combining multiple principal elements in relatively high concentrations have been shown to possess greatly improved deformation properties as compared to conventional materials. We are currently seeking to understand micro-scale deformation mechanisms in complex alloys under uniaxial and multi-axial loading.

Building Intelligent Gradients in AM space engine materials 

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) of bimetallic components has been recently explored by NASA for combustion chambers, injectors, nozzles, and ignition systems. To propel innovations in FGM for space applications, we are working to establish fundamental process-structure-property relationships of AM-FGMs for space engine components through an integrated experimental-computation framework incorporating novel DED-AM processing, process modeling, and materials characterization.

Understanding microstructural evolution in binder-based metal additive manufacturing

We are employing high-energy x-ray and electron microscopy to directly image particle and internal microstructure evolution with during solid state sintering (SSS) in novel binder jet 3D printing (BJ3DP) as an exemplary process with strong potential for broader impacts in the automotive industry. These data are being used to test fundamental hypotheses on densification and grain-growth in BJ3DP to generate new insight into other SSS manufacturing platforms such as powder metallurgy, metal injection molding, and field-assisted sintering.