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February 2022

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GE Additive and Wichita State's NIAR Accelerate Metal Additive Technology

GE Additive and Wichita State's National Institute for Aviation Research team up to accelerate metal additive technology for rapid Department of Defense implementation.

GE Additive and Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) 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 (DoD) accelerated adoption of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology.

AM technology within the commercial and military aerospace and defense sector has grown significantly over the past decade, and in that time, GE and Wichita State's NIAR have worked closely with the DoD, FAA and other stakeholders to accelerate safe adoption of AM for high criticality applications.

"GE has been doing this for a long time, and they have cracked the AM 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 could employ our complementary abilities for the warfighter."

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

GE Additive is a provider of additive technology, materials science, materials manufacturing, component design and aerospace qualification. NIAR brings leadership in aerospace applied research, materials testing and qualification, digital twin and structural testing and certification. Both parties have been recognized by the DoD as industry leaders: NIAR in developing digital twins of various aging vehicles, and GE Additive in providing metal additive technology to print out-of-production and obsolete spare parts from digital twin data.

GE Additive and NIAR aim to establish an industry platform that is flexible enough to be used across all branches of the DoD.

"The partnership will accelerate the DoD's desire to go from old metal to digital, and then supply needed spare parts by going from digital back to new metal," said Handler.

"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.

Development of the database will also involve the implementation of students in an applied learning capacity, providing a unique new workforce that understands the intricacies of AM qualification and implementation.

The partnership and involvement of student employees will allow the team to rapidly develop specifications to convert metal to digital and digital to metal-part by part.

For more information contact:

National Institute

for Aviation Research

Wichita State University

1845 Fairmount Street

Wichita, KS 67260


GE Additive

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