UB and LIFT Launch Hypersonic Materials Project

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The $783,197 effort will see UB engineers develop simulations of ceramics and ceramic matrix composites, making them more practical for manufacturers

BUFFALO, NY — University at Buffalo engineers are partnering with LIFT, the Detroit-based National Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, on a project to accelerate the development of materials for hypersonic systems.

This program will help accelerate the design and deployment of hypersonic vehicles, reduce development process costs, improve vehicle performance, and mature the supply base for hypersonic components and vehicles.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with LIFT on this innovative research project, which supports the nation’s defense and advanced manufacturing sectors while enhancing national security,” said James Chen, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. and aerospace at the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. .

LIFT will provide UB with $626,558 in research funding, with UB contributing $156,639 in in-kind services.

As part of the project, the development of LIFT’s ongoing ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering) toolchain will be expanded to include the discovery, design and simulation of ceramics and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which Chen, students and other professors from UB will help. Support.

“The Buffalo team has a unique skill set related to ICME for ceramics and ceramic matrix composites subjected to extreme environments,” said Noel Mack, chief technology officer at LIFT. “These skills mean that simulations can occur in a shorter timeframe using off-the-shelf computing equipment, allowing simulations to be relevant to manufacturers and develop hypersonic materials faster.”

The ICME technology readiness level for ceramics and CMCs is well below that of other materials. As a result, there is no out-of-the-box trading system to implement. Experts have to manually program the fundamental physics which is very complex for hybrid materials in hypersonic environments.

The UB team will establish the processing-structure-properties-performance relationships for ceramics and CMCs in the ICME space, as well as machine learning, to make these simulation tools computationally efficient.

The aim is to create a manufacturing supply chain for new metal alloy powders, which, together with the relevant ceramics, will be manufactured and tested to confirm that the physical properties align with ICME models.

Operating at speeds of Mach 5 or more, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic vehicles are among the Department of Defense’s top priorities, along with the development of a safe and secure national supply base. This project, along with LIFT’s ongoing work on the Department of Defense’s Hypersonic Challenge, is part of the institute’s broader hypersonic materials research portfolio.

About LIFT

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is the Detroit-based public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, industry and academia. It is committed to developing and deploying advanced manufacturing technologies and implementing talent development initiatives to better prepare the workforce of today and tomorrow. LIFT is funded in part by the Department of Defense and managed by the Office of Naval Research. Visit www.lift.technology to learn more.

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