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FIU Engineering receives $22.9 million from U.S. Army to advance research on high performance additive manufacturing technologies

FIU Engineering receives $22.9 million from U.S. Army to advance research on high performance additive manufacturing technologies

November 8, 2021 at 7:00am

Florida International University (FIU) has received a five-year, $22.9 million grant from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory to advance additive manufacturing technologies that aid in the repair, design and durability of high-performance materials that will be used to manufacture next-generation vehicles and munitions.
"There is much potential for advancing this highly innovative technique,” said Arvind Agarwal, chair of FIU’s Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, director of the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute and PI on the grant. “The research at FIU will primarily focus on the development of high-performance metallic materials, which are lightweight and of ultra-great strength, using Rapid Advanced Deposition (RAD) techniques including wire arc, solid-state cold spray and friction-stir additive manufacturing."
The development of high deposition structural alloys and novel additive manufacturing processing techniques from computational models is essential toward the prediction of material properties and the implementation of new structural alloys into Army weapons systems.
Using state-of-the-art automation, solid 3D parts could be printed in minutes and last significantly longer once RAD techniques are applied. The process can be reduced to a portable handheld applicator, which makes it particularly useful in military field operations. The new research seeks to advance the scientific understanding of this process while developing enhanced tools and techniques that allow production and repair of materials to be quick and cost-effective.  
During Phase I and II of the grant, FIU researchers collaborated with researchers from other academic institutions and industries to develop solid-state AM and polymer coatings. This also included collaborations with private manufacturing companies across the country, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
“We are thrilled to once again participate in a substantial collaboration with the federal government, other leading research institutions and commercial entities,” said John L. Volakis, dean of FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. “This research not only addresses the U.S. Army’s needs but it also allows public universities to contribute toward significant initiatives of national interest.”
This collaboration will establish the fundamental research necessary to enable next-generation materials and manufacturing processes in support of the Army’s modernization strategy.
The Florida Congressional delegation has been a strong proponent of critical defense research funding which allows FIU researchers to advance the country’s defense readiness.
“FIU is providing solutions to help maintain our force’s defense readiness, while further advancing innovation and creating dignified jobs for our workforce in Florida," said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, added: This important investment by the Army in Miami's public research university will bolster America’s defense readiness, create good jobs, and help grow South Florida’s burgeoning technology sector.”