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Institute for Model-Based Qualification & Certification of Additive Manufacturing (IMQCAM) Announced

NASA has announced that Carnegie Mellon University and Johns Hopkins University will co-lead the Institute for Model-based Qualification & Certification of Additive Manufacturing (IMQCAM). The institute will improve computer models of metal AM parts and expand their advantage in spaceflight applications. Such parts could be utilized in rocket engines providing more flexibility to create new parts when designs change or possibly in a space station, where delivering prefabricated parts would be expensive and limiting. Certification and use of such parts requires high-accuracy predictions of their characteristics.

"The internal structure of this type of part is much different than what's produced by any other method," said Tony Rollett, principal investigator for the institute and US Steel professor of metallurgical engineering and materials science at Carnegie Mellon University. "The institute will focus on creating the models NASA and others in industry would need to use these parts on a daily basis."

Digital twins computer models will allow engineers to understand the parts' capabilities and limitations. The models will provide the predictability of part properties based on their processing, which is key for certifying the parts for use. The institute will develop digital twins for metal AM parts made from spaceflight materials that are commonly used for printing, as well as evaluating and modeling new materials.

Additional partners on the institute include Vanderbilt University, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Virginia, Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, and Pratt & Whitney.

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