Shunyu Liu's work from Clemson University at the intersection of materials science and automotive engineering has provided a new impetus for additive manufacturing and the U.S. manufacturing sector. Liu is an assistant professor of automotive engineering, and she and her team are working to make metal parts stronger and defect-free. Using computer simulation and real-world testing, Liu is shaping the future of how metal parts are made and used in the industry and molding the next generation of manufacturing leaders.
"Additive manufacturing is a disruptive technology - a game changer. We know there are limitations. That's why we're here - to push the boundaries of this technology. Hybrid additive manufacturing is the next level," Liu said.
Som Dixit, a third-year doctoral student, is helping Liu push the boundaries of manufacturing technology. In a new project, the team is developing what's called HI-RAM, an acronym for "hybrid in-situ rolled additive manufacturing."
Like other types of 3D printing, HI-RAM builds objects layer by layer, but uses synchronous hot rolling as each track and layer is printed. This makes the finished metal part harder and stronger, which is better suited for structural applications.
Opportunities for HI-RAM.
"With HI-RAM, we are working to produce high-performance components that can change the way the industry views 3D-printed metal components. This innovation has the potential to position the United States firmly at the forefront of global manufacturing," Liu explains.
The research is being conducted with funding from a National Science Foundation CAREER grant. Under this grant, Liu is working with colleges, high schools, local manufacturers and manufacturing organizations to provide professional HI-RAM training aimed at motivating and preparing a high-quality manufacturing workforce.