Texas A&M U. Planning Grant: I/UCRC for Metal Deformation Processes (iuFOCUS)
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Metal deformation processes are ubiquitous manufacturing techniques used in many industrial sectors such as automotive, medical and electronic devices, oil and gas equipment, and aerospace industries. The processes are involved in approximately 7% of the US Gross Domestic Product. Advancement in metal deformation technologies can address key national needs such as defense, energy independence and efficiency, homeland security, and health care. The objective of the project is to conduct a planning meeting to establish an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on metal deformation processes, which will provide intrinsic value to industry. The goal of the Center is to deliver pre-competitive, fundamental knowledge to industry for improved product performance, enhanced productivity, workforce development and economic growth. The Center will provide a forum for collaborations among academic, industrial, and national laboratory researchers to perform fundamental, pre-competitive science and engineering research of metal deformation technologies.To create a robust and sustainable I/UCRC Center across several industrial sectors, the academic partners of this project, University of New Hampshire (UNH), Northwestern University, and Texas A&M University (TAMU), will work collaboratively to provide: a) innovative metal deformation technologies, e.g. flexible dieless forming, ultrasonic-assisted forming, electrically-assisted forming, and geometric texturing of workpiece and tooling surfaces for friction control, b) closed-loop process control through novel in-process sensors and advanced control algorithms, and c) process modeling and material characterization for forming. The Center will have three technical thrust areas (with each university Site leading one of the areas): modeling and material characterization (UNH), advanced metal deformation processes and sensing (Northwestern), and product/process optimization and standardization (TAMU). Each institution will also focus on specific industries based on past collaborations and regional interests: UNH, aerospace and electronic devices; Northwestern, automotive and medical devices; and TAMU, oil and gas industry. The collaboration among the institutions and industrial members can effectively and efficiently address the industrial research and development needs. At the planning meeting, a total of 60 participants is expected. The Center projects will be determined by systematic mapping of the industrial needs to the capabilities of the I/UCRC Sites. More specifically, TAMU brings their excellent capabilities in produce and process optimization and the support of their strong infrastructure for metal deformation research including the shared-used laboratories Microscopy and Imaging Center, Material Characterization Facility, and complementary supercomputing facilities for modeling and simulation.