UCF Earns U Lift Challenge Award to Pursue Metal-AM Materials Development

April 18, 2022


Lift, the Detroit, MI-based national manufacturing innovation institute, announced that it has awarded a U Lift Challenge project award to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to further explore metallic alloys used in additive manufacturing (AM). The UCF team will assess and establish thermokinetic criteria to determine printability and buildability of metallic alloys for powder-bed fusion (PBF) AM in order to accelerate the discovery of new AM-specific alloys as well as component-ready manufacturing of commercial alloys. 

Lift’s U Lift Challenge, modeled after the television show Shark Tank, is open to all U.S. universities. A select number of proposals, initially reviewed by the Lift Technology Team, are chosen to be presented in a Shark Tank-style virtual meeting that includes Lift staff and industry members from the Lift Technology Interest Group. UCF’s proposal proved successful in the competition.

While PBF, the UCF team offered in its proposal, allows for customized manufacturing of components with nearly unlimited geometry and design freedom, the current approach links parameters directly to microstructure, without due consideration for thermophysical properties of alloy/composition, leading to limited design capability that is only valid within the experimental data available. The ability to design and develop new or modify existing commercial alloys will allow for rapid design and assessment of metallic alloys for customized manufacturing and advantageous applications in hypersonics, lightweight armor, weapon systems, space, legacy parts and airframe structures.

“Our team is looking forward to working with Lift and advancing AM technologies,” says Dr. Yongho Sohn of the UCF Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Advancing new materials and new processes are key to the future of manufacturing and core to Lift’s mission, so we are proud to have been awarded this project to work with them.”

The UCF project is expected to also help support Lift’s ongoing hypersonics materials research work.

“Our university partners are critical to our work of advancing technologies for the U.S. industrial base,” says Noel Mack, Lift chief technology officer. “We received a number of outstanding proposals for the U Lift Challenge and our sharks had to make some difficult decisions, but we are excited to see the outcome of working with Dr. Sohn and his UCF team.”

Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms

Technologies: Powder-Bed Systems

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