Virginia Tech Receives $800K DoD Grant to Research Friction Stir Metal 3D Printing
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has granted Virginia Tech $800,000 to research a form of metal 3D printing known as additive friction stir deposition (AFSD). Virginia Tech will use the funds, disbursed as part of the 2023 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), to purchase a computerized AFSD machine that will be housed in the university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
AFSD is unique amongst metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in that it can build end-parts using solid state metals as inputs, but without melting them. Instead, AFSD machines work by deploying a hollow, rapidly rotating cylindrical tool through which the materials are fed. The heat caused by the friction of the tool makes the metals pliable, thereby welding the new feedstock to the preceding layer.