Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Frank Pfefferkorn received a $359,000 National Science Foundation grant to research how laser remelting can be used to improve the quality and extend the service life of metal parts that have been additively manufactured.
The laser remelting process presents significant, yet unexplored, opportunities for functionally improving additively manufactured parts, and it can be integrated into existing laser-based additive manufacturing equipment to improve the as-built surface finish. In this research project, Pfefferkorn will generate fundamental new knowledge that will improve surface finish and mechanical properties of additively manufactured metallic parts through the application of laser remelting.
The project is an international collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Bremen, Germany. While the NSF is only providing funding for the work done by UW-Madison, this project leverages research facilities not available in the United States to the benefit of U.S. innovation, especially in the aerospace, automotive, health care and defense industries. This represents a very large portion of the American manufacturing sector, and the results of this fundamental research could provide significant tangible benefits to the domestic economy.
Author: Adam Malecek