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GE Additive and Wichita State Team Up to Help Adoption of Metal Additive Manufacturing by DoD

GE Additive and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding as the cornerstone of a new, collaborative effort aimed at supporting the U.S. Department of Defense‘s accelerated adoption of metal additive manufacturing technology.

Posted: November 22, 2021

In the past decade, GE and Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) have worked with the DoD, FAA, and others to accelerate safe adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) for highly critical applications.

“GE has been doing this for a long time, and they have cracked the additive manufacturing code. You can see it in their data and process control,” said John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for Industry and Defense Programs and NIAR executive director.

“Based on our experience with NIAR’s material qualification capabilities and how they complement our work at GE Additive, we realized the benefits of putting our relationship with NIAR on a more formal footing,” said David Handler, general manager – government business at GE Additive. “We visited the team at Wichita to see their facilities firsthand, and that accelerated our discussions to determine how we can bring our complimentary abilities to bare for the warfighter.”

GE Additive said the partnership will accelerate metal additive adoption within the military aerospace and defense industrial base by advocating for common practices, for rapid qualification and certification, and for the development of a shared database for additive manufacturing data and knowledge.

“The real beauty about this partnership is bringing the knowledge of the two sides together to advance AM technology to benefit the DoD,” said WSU’s Tomblin.

“NIAR’s material database capabilities are an important asset needed to build a comprehensive, secure, accessible, standard format for materials data,” said GE’s Handler.

GE Additive said it  and NIAR aim to establish an industry platform that is flexible enough to be used across all branches of the DoD. “It is critical that the platform provides quality specifications and material allowables that are naturally integrated into DoD processes and readily available and accessible across the DoD and to its industry partners, when permitted,” said Rachael Andrulonis, NIAR senior research engineer for composites and advanced materials.

GE Additive (Cincinnati, OH) uses additive manufacturing to create new, metal products.

The NIAR performs aerospace applied research, materials testing and qualification, and structural testing and certification.

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