Research in the Alloy Design and Development Lab focuses on the design of novel materials’ behavior by coupling advanced processing methods with tailored properties for innovative performance in engineering systems.
The design strategies include high-throughput experiments for data analytics and low-throughput studies for physical mechanisms. Design methods fall into three primary areas for applications in structural, functional, energy, and nuclear applications:
-Mechanical Design: lightweighting, topological optimization, heat exchangers
-Alloy Design: high entropy alloys, bulk metallic glasses, extreme environments
-Microstructural Design: radiation resistance, hydrogen embrittlement, rapid solidification
The Arcast 200 arc melter can melt alloys with melting temperatures from aluminum to tungsten. Sample weights that can be cast range from grams to hundreds of grams. The 800 amp power supply and high vacuum environment permits elemental blends of materials to be melted together for high quality, laboratory scale specimens. Magnetic stirring of the melt (for increased compositional homogenization) is available. Samples can be cast into button form or as rods (with both tilt-pour casting and suction casting). The diameter of rods vary from 3 to 12 mm.
A Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) powder bed 3D printer, EOS M290 gives researchers the capability to produce highly complex and precise geometries—with support structure*—directly from CAD data. Stainless steel-316L, maraging steel and aluminum are currently available for fabricating metal parts.
Build volume 250 x 250 x 325 mm
20 micron layers
*Support structure is porous and can be removed by machining.
Support for this acquisition was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
A direct metal deposition 3D printer, the LENS MR7 allows researchers to produce vertically extruded structures—without support structure—directly from CAD data. This system can process a wide variety of metals, including titanium, nickel-based superalloys, stainless steels and tool steels, while four powder feeders allow the production of gradient materials, composites and alloys. In addition to manufacturing parts, it can also repair defective parts.
Build volume 300 x 300 x 300 mm
300 micron layers
This polymer 3D printer allows multi-material color 3D printing for a variety of models, including rigid, flexible, transparent, opaque and high temperature resistant. The printer uses CAD files to produce samples with smooth three-color gradients, vivid multi-color models, and 16-micron layer resolution. Complex and delicate features can be printed with soluble support structures. Accuracy is up to 200 microns for rigid materials.
Build volume 255*252*200 mm
This equipment is shared with Prof. Stephan Rudykh.
This polisher allows multiple metal samples (1-4) to be ground/ polished simultaneously with variable speed (50-500 rpm). It utilizes a splash guard, bowl liner and automatic water valve.
The Linseis L78 RITA dilatometer aids researchers in determination of deformation diagrams. An induction furnace controls heating and cooling speeds in excess of 400 °C/s. Software systems control heat-up and cool-down speed, gas control, and safety features. The equipment supports temperature ranges from -100 °C to 1600 °C and allows for both solid and hollow samples, and includes a susceptor for non-metallic samples.
The Robo-Met3D gives researchers the ability to investigate microstructures of samples in three dimensions. The system grinds and polishes away layers of material with micron level accuracy. In addition, the system enables researchers to perform etching and imaging of the microstructure of metallographic materials. The system collects images in 2D, which are then reassembled into 3D models.
This device allows researchers to heat metal samples free from oxidation to a maximum temperature of 1700 °C, with +/-5 °C uniformity. The maximum heating rate is 10-15 °C per minute, depending on load volume. The size of the chamber is 6”(W) x 6”(H) x 6”(D). This equipment is shared with Prof. Adrien Couet.