This article introduces the concept of blending fluid power with mechanical structure through addictive manufacturing. Today, fluid-powered devices are manufactured using conventional fabrication practices. The additive process enables integrated structure, actuation, fluid passages, thermal management, and control within a single fabrication process. Fluid can be routed efficiently through the structure without the need for cross-drilled holes or plugs. Fluid passages can be optimized for heat dissipation and minimized head loss. One of the primary issues regarding parts manufactured using the additive manufacturing process is their mechanical properties. Results show that components made with Ti-6-4 powders have a minimum yield stress and ultimate strength that exceeds Grade 5 specifications. The Arcan system uses a powder bed that has an elevated temperature. Therefore, the part exhibits very little residual stress during the manufacturing process. This leads to improved mechanical strength but induces challenges in powder removal. The specific advantages are reduced weight, potential for lower cost, and reduced part counts.
Free Form Fluidics
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Lonnie Love, Ph.D., is the group leader of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Automation, Robotics and Manufacturing Group. He has over 15 years of experience in the design and control of complex robotic and hydraulic systems. His primary expertise is in the areas of hydraulics, additive manufacturing, forcecontrolled systems, human strength amplification, high payload robotics and nanomaterials. Recent research efforts have focused on developing new lightweight low-cost hydraulic systems through additive manufacturing. Dr. Love was ORNL’s 2009 Inventor of the year.
Bradley S. Richardson received his B.S. in engineering science and mechanics from the University of Tennessee in 1979, an M.S. in engineering mechanics from the Ohio State University in 1980. He joined the research staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1985 and has served as the principal investigator for numerous research projects. These include mobile manipulation and real-time control systems. He has been involved in multiple research projects dealing with remotely and autonomously operated vehicles and material handling systems and has implemented real-time control systems for a variety of systems.
Randall Lind is a mechanical engineer specializing in robotics and automation. He received an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. in engineering from the University of Illinois. Since joining the staff of ORNL in 1987, he has led the mechanical development and design of a variety of systems including: two high payload omnidirectional vehicles, a multi-ton payload hydraulic ship motion simulator platform, a neutron imaging system, an automated surgical tool loader, hydraulic and electric robot systems, solar trackers, hydraulic pumps and valve systems and numerous sensors.
Ryan Dehoff , Ph.D, is Technical Lead for Metal Additive Manufacturing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is facilitating the development of additive manufacturing of components, utilizing various techniques including electron beam melting, laser metal deposition and ultrasonic additive manufacturing. He is developing processing techniques and exploring new materials via additive manufacturing to improve energy efficiency during component production, decrease material waste, and improve material performance. Dr. Dehoff won two R&D 100 awards in 2012 for NanoSHIELD Coating and Low-Cost, Lightweight Robotic Hand Based on Additive Manufacturing.
William Peter, Associate Division Director of the Materials Behavior and Processing for Materials Science and Technology Division at ORNL has been the principal investigator for over 20 R&D projects including research in powder metallurgy, nanocrystalline materials, additive manufacturing, and lightweight alloys. He has investigated the laser fusing of wear resistant coatings, and the consolidation of titanium powders for 8 years. In 2012, Dr. Peter was awarded three R&D 100 Magazine awards, including additive manufacturing of robotics, development of a roll mill technology, and the development of laser-fused NanoSHIELD coatings.
Larry Lowe has worked for over two years as a technician specialist with Additive Manufacturing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF). He is working with ORNL’s researchers to develop new processes for laser and electron beam engineered net shaping of alloys and polymerbased additive manufacturing components. He currently operates the ARCAM, STRATASYS, SOLIDICA and POM units at the MDF. Larry was on two winning R&D 100 teams in 2012 for NanoSHIELD Coatings and Lightweight Robotic Hand Based on Additive Manufacturing from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Craig Blue is Director of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and the Advanced Manufacturing Office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has led development of ORNL’s Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, bringing together a team of scientists and engineers to gain nationwide recognition for leadership in manufacturing technologies including Low-Cost Carbon Fiber and Additive Manufacturing. He holds a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Cincinnati. He is an ASM Fellow and has received numerous honors including ten R&D 100 Awards, and the UT Battelle Distinguished Engineer. He has over 90 open literature publications, 15 patents, and over 80 technical presentations.
Love, L. J., Richardson, B., Lind, R., Dehoff, R., Peter, B., Lowe, L., and Blue, C. (June 1, 2013). "Free Form Fluidics." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. June 2013; 135(06): S17–S20. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2013-JUN-9
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