NASA SBIR 2019-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-1- Z3.01-3103
 Advanced Metallic Materials and Processes Innovation
 Processing of Bulk Metallic Glass by Pulsed Electrochemical Machining
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Voxel Innovations
3420 Tarheel Drive, Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27609- 7677
(984) 234-9712

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Eric Rountree
3420 Tarheel Dr., Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27609 - 7677
(984) 234-9712

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Mr. Daniel Herrington
3420 Tarheel Dr., Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27609 - 7677
(336) 414-7825
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 4
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Bulk metallic glass (BMG) has gained popularity over the last two decades as alloys have been developed that can remain in a supercooled state at sufficient intervals to allow for processing in a similar manner to plastics. Their physical properties, including an unusual combination of hardness, strength, and elasticity, have made them ideal candidates for the production of strain wave gears. Both the lack of ability to produce thick components and the cost per gram of the material result in preclusion of subtractive manufacturing methods as the primary mode of part formation. Instead, components are formed from metallic glass using injection molding, thermoplastic forming or 3D printing. Unfortunately, draft requirements associated with molding techniques and the lack of precision in 3D printing often make some form of subtractive post-processing inevitable. This creates a manufacturing challenge for both high volume and rapid prototyping applications. Currently, CNC milling and electric discharge machining (EDM) are the primary methods for post-processing of near net shape BMG components. Unfortunately, CNC milling is unable to deliver on needed thin features due to the hardness and elasticity. EDM on the other hand imparts thermal stress on the components and can promote crystallization near the affected machining surface. We propose using pulsed electrochemical machining (PECM) as both a manufacturing solution for volume production and for prototyping. Traditionally, PECM is used as a volume solution to manufacturing and is already capable of filling this need for the BMG community. Voxel Innovations is currently working with BMG manufacturers to incorporate PECM in this way. In the proposed research, we present a method for allowing PECM to meet BMG rapid prototyping needs (specifically targeting this effort towards strain wave gears), allowing prototyping and volume manufacturing to maintain continuity in how it is accomplished.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Prototyping of bulk metallic glass strain-wave and planetary gears for extra-terrestrial cold-world robotics.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
  • Draft removal from bulk metallic glass medical tools
  • High temperature gears not made from bulk metallic glass
  • Thin wall formation on bulk metallic glass medical tools and implants
Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/16/2019 23:09:33