Manufacturing Ideas to Watch – Issue 4 (August 2017)

In this issue of Manufacturing Ideas to Watch: Diode-based Additive Manufacturing, Dual Phase and Soft Magnetics in Electric Machines, Vaporizing Foil Actuators, and Roll-to-roll Electronics Using Pulsed Thermal Processing. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

Diode-based Additive Manufacturing

Image of diode lasers
[Image source:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
photo by Kate Hunts]

In Diode-based Additive Manufacturing, the laser light is sourced by a set of four diode laser arrays and a pulsed laser. It passes through an optical valve, which patterns an image of a two-dimensional “slice” of the desired 3D part. The laser then flash prints an entire layer of metal powder at a time, instead of scanning with a laser as with traditional selective laser melting systems. The result is that large metal objects could be printed in a fraction of the time needed for metal 3D printers on the market today, expanding possibilities for industries requiring larger metal parts, such as aerospace and automotive. [Text from article by Jeremy Thomas]
Christopher M. Spadaccini, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dual Phase and Soft Magnetics in Electric Machines

Image of soft magnetics
[Image source: Presentation]

Magnets are a critical component of motors and alternators, driving their power density, form factor, and efficiency. New dual phase magnetic material and soft magnetics are being developed that can enhance and direct the magnetic field, improving these key performance metrics. These advances include novel chemical compositions, material topologies, and manufacturing methods of magnetic materials. Overall, these innovations have applications that can help create more efficient and effective manufacturing equipment, lower-weight electric vehicles, more energy efficiency electricity transformation, and more. [This work was supported by the Department of Energy under agreement number DE-EE0007755.]
– Frank Johnson, GE Global Research

Vaporizing Foil Actuators (VFA)

Image of a foil actuator
[Image source: Impulse Manufacturing Laboratory]

Forming and joining metals is challenging when joining dissimilar materials, forming complex shapes at low volumes, and shearing complex shapes. Vaporized Foil Actuation has the opportunity to overcome these challenges. This technology uses a very high energy deposition rate in a conductor to sublimate it before it has time to melt – vaporizing it directly into a gas. The result is a high-pressure pulse that, when physically constrained, can be harnessed as a tool to drive workpieces for forming or to develop high speeds for impact welding. Tools used with this technology technology are small, light, agile, and adaptable with little retooling for a wide variety of small-scale, impulse-based metalworking applications including impact welding, forming, embossing, shearing, and powder compaction.
Glenn Daehn, The Ohio State University

Roll-to-roll Electronics Using Pulsed Thermal Processing

Image of roll printed electronics
[Image source: Oak Ridge National Lab]

Current methods of producing functional circuitry can be time consuming, require high temperatures, and reduce the ability to have design flexibility. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques for thin film electronics utilizing unique Pulse Thermal Processing technologies coupled with non-vacuum low temperature deposition techniques. Successfully developing this technology for nanoparticle-based inks and pastes will allow for large-scale production of circuitry at reduced cost and energy requirements. Initial applications include processing thin film electronics on low-cost, flexible substrates such as polymers and paper, and may expand to include embedded circuitry in additive manufacturing components.
– Claus Daniel, Oak Ridge National Laboratory


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