Ala Qattawi

2016 Hellman Fellow

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Innovative Design and Manufacuring Lab
UC Merced

Project: Material Characterization of Stainless Steel Alloys Components Produced by Direct Metal Laser Sintering under Various Service Temperatures

Project Abstract:
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology for the fabrication of near net shape parts directly from computer-aided design (CAD) data by melting together different layers with the help of a laser source. Also known as 3D Metal printing. This approach permits to extend significantly the freedom of design and manufacture by allowing, for example, to create an object with desired shape and internal structure in a single fabrication step. Despite its potential, we lack the understating regarding materials’ characteristics processed by this technology, specifically the high strength-to-weight materials, such as stainless steel and nickel based alloys. The focus of this research extends to investigating DMLS materials for different service temperatures that are expected to impact the final characteristics due to extended melting and bonding opportunities. This project aims at establishing this knowledge using an experimental approach for micro and nanoscale at various service elevated temperatures in addition to the fracture analysis. The proposed work aims at introducing the findings thought the curriculum of engineering and design classes taught by the PI. The results obtained via this work will serve as an input for a computational analysis studies for specific analysis of vehicular components such as B pillar and engine crash box, where significant strength is needed that is accompanied with light weight restrictions. The current approach in the mentioned components is welding different steel sheets with different thickness to achieve the required strength and light weight. The generated results through this work will be utilized as a preliminary analysis/results for grants proposals to study multi- metal material’s processed by DMLS, such as in combining nickel based alloys and stainless steel materials in one part along various regions with tailored materials characteristics and features.