YSU gets $2.3M for hybrid manufacturing initiative

Youngstown State University will receive a $2.3 million research and development award from the Air Force Research Laboratory to create a hub-and-spoke consortium on hybrid manufacturing.

The consortium includes the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (the managing organization for Youngstown-based America Makes), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, among others, and will focus on further advancing work to fabricate, inspect and repair metallic machine parts, molds and dies, as well as defense components.

“This award is yet another reflection of YSU’s continued national leadership in advanced manufacturing,” said Pedro Cortes, YSU associate professor of Chemical Engineering. “This project will address real world, industrially-relevant applications by transforming the manner in which new metal structures are fabricated and repaired.”

3D printing laser hot wire cladding Direct Energy Deposition Mazak system at YSU’s new Excellence Training Center.

The project includes the purchase and installation of a 3D printing laser hot wire cladding Direct Energy Deposition Mazak system at YSU’s new Excellence Training Center (pictured). YSU is one of only three institutions nationwide utilizing the Mazak system, said Jackie Ruller, YSU director of Advanced Manufacturing Research and Commercial Projects.

The system will provide a hybrid printing technology that combines the simultaneous benefits of additive manufacturing (complex geometries, part consolidation, and mass customization) with the advantages of subtractive manufacturing (superior surface finish and enhanced dimensional accuracies), Cortes said.

The technology requires dramatically less energy usage than conventional processing, allowing it to create geometrically-complex and lightweight products that were not previously possible, he said.

The project will leverage multiple hybrid systems located across the team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Also supporting the project is the University of Texas at El Paso and the Youngstown Business Incubator.

At YSU, the project will be led by Cortes and Ruller, as well as faculty members Brian Vuksanovich, Holly Martin and Kyunsong Choo.