New tools of the trade

Materials engineering faculty Tony Overfelt and Bart Prorok have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for their additive manufacturing research. Their research study, “Layer-by-Layer X-ray Computed Tomography of Additive Manufacturing,” will examine the use of X-ray computed tomography, also known as a CT scan, as a means to inspect metal components created through 3-D printing techniques. While more manufacturers are using additive manufacturing to produce high-value components with complex designs, they face challenges of inspecting these components to assess their metallurgical quality and dimensional integrity.

Through their research study, Overfelt and Prorok plan to advance metallurgical and metrological inspection capabilities for additive manufacturing of metals and provide reliable quality assurance capabilities for manufacturers in Alabama and around the nation.