LIFT Launches Six New Technology Projects Under the LIFT Ecosystem Accelerator Program (LEAP)

New projects focused on institute’s technology scope of connecting advanced materials, manufacturing processes and system engineering.

LIFT, the Detroit-based national advanced materials manufacturing innovation institute, today, announced the launch of six new projects as part of its LIFT Ecosystem Accelerator Program (LEAP).

The projects are designed to accelerate innovations in advanced materials, manufacturing processes, and system engineering over a period of performance of six months.

The six new LEAP projects are:

  • Validation of a Multi-Scale Process Model for Prediction of Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (LB-PBF) Build Defects: Led byHexagon, this project will focus on building a body of physical build data and test results against which to measure the current and future efficacy of defect prediction models for LB-PBF.​
  • Using Oxide-Dispersion-Strengthened (ODS) Copper to Additively Manufacture High Heat-Flux Rocket Components: Led byKymera International, this project will look to provide a commercially stable, domestic alternative to a key material needed to manufacture critical US space and defense systems.
  • Optimized Feedstock Alloy Production for Light Alloy Additive Manufacturing: Led byLoukus Technologies, this project will manufacture additive feedstock using alloying and casting techniques that can be more cost effective than current alloys made with a wrought based approach​.
  • Thermally Engineered Refractory Metal Matrix Composites by Mechanical Alloying and Hydride and Dehydride (HDH) Reclamation:  LIFT partnerPowdermet will demonstrate its HDH process as a viable means for manufacturing niobium powders for advanced manufacturing needs of high-temperature components.
  • Life Prediction of Tantalum-Coated Gun Barrels Under Fast Thermal Transient Conditions: Led byRTX, this project will look to improve life prediction of Tantalum-coated gun barrels through development of elastoplastic​ damage and crack propagation modeling tool for extreme thermal transient environments.
  • Capability Demonstration For Virtual Gun Barrel Interaction Testbed: For this project,Friedman Research Corporation will create a semi-validated multi-physics model for predicting the response of a gun barrel/projectile system.

    “As a technology accelerator, it is incumbent upon us to work with our ecosystem of members across the country to push ourselves to drive innovation in materials, processes, and systems faster,” said Noel Mack, Chief Technology Officer, LIFT. “We are thrilled to have had so many proposals for really innovative projects and are excited to have these six launched.”

    LIFT held an open project call last fall and commits up to $200,000 in funding for each innovative idea which align with LIFT’s technology pillars through the specific focus areas of, High Throughput Alloy Synthesis and Test, Hypersonic Performance Testing, Virtual Representation of Materials in Extreme Environments, Digital Augmentation of Manufacturing Processes, High Temperature Materials, and Design of Materials.

    The projects were selected based on their proposed budget, ability to advance the technology’s Manufacturing and/or Technology Readiness by one to two levels, and utilization of the LIFT High Bay in Detroit.

    All six projects are expected to be completed by June 2024.