MTS has announced a strategic alliance with Auburn University to accelerate additive manufacturing research and test development. Auburn University is home to the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME), which is a founding partner of the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE). As part of the alliance agreement with the university, MTS will supply test equipment to Auburn’s NCAME mechanical testing lab and share expertise to advance mechanical testing methods for additively manufactured materials and components.
Manufacturing components layer by layer with additive processes allows engineers to tailor form, weight, strength, stiffness and other properties for specific use cases. Given the design and production advantages, additive manufacturing technology is increasingly employed in the aerospace, defense, automotive and biomedical industries to improve operational efficiencies and create optimized components.
The complexity of additive manufacturing processes can yield varying mechanical properties depending on the component size, geometry, orientation and the build strategy. To understand how the manufacturing process impacts the material properties, and ensure consistent in-field performance, it is important to conduct mechanical testing to the appropriate standards. Auburn University’s NCAME and MTS are working together to identify the mechanical testing advancements necessary for further adoption of additive technology.
“MTS has a long history of innovation in additive manufacturing, beginning in the 1990’s with development of the first flight-qualified aerospace hardware made with additive manufacturing technology, to today’s use in MTS prototypes and finished products,” says Dr. Jeffrey Graves, MTS president and CEO. “MTS’ applications expertise combined with deep knowledge of testing practices in the automotive, aerospace and biomedical industries, brings a unique perspective and set of qualifications to advance additive manufacturing test methods and systems. MTS is pleased to be working with Auburn University to hasten adoption of these manufacturing techniques and improve the quality of products made with them.”
“If we better understand and improve the mechanical performance of additive products, we can overcome a major barrier against the widespread adoption of this increasingly essential technology. In terms of durability and reliability, we have to ask if we trust these products enough to use them in load-bearing, safety-critical applications. That has been the focus of our research at Auburn,” adds Nima Shamsaei, NCAME director, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Auburn University. “We are very excited about our new alliance with MTS. As one of the leading institutes in designing and manufacturing of mechanical testing apparatus, their expertise can directly benefit our research activities related to the mechanical characterization of additive materials.”