FormAlloy's submission to the technical competition at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) on using Metal Additive Manufacturing for Embedded Sensors, was a runner up in the 2021 Advanced Concept Category.
Embedded Sensor Applications
New applications for embedded sensors in devices and materials are making waves across aerospace, defense, and medical devices, to name a few. FormAlloy’s technology further enables these applications with its innovative metal deposition technology and unique fabrication method. According to one of our project partners, optoXense Inc., “Contemporary scientific advances have demonstrated the broad range of monitoring capabilities of fiber optic sensors … sensing elements hosted within human hair sized optical fiber provides a wide breadth of information.“
Combining the advancements in sensing with the latest additive manufacturing capabilities redefine what is possible in sensing and controlling outcomes of the devices in which they are embedded.
Proof of Concept
As part of a DARPA program with optoXense, FormAlloy demonstrated an unprecedented application in which a desired geometry was fabricated with a fiber optic sensor embedded within the build. The proof of concept utilized Inconel 625. Readings were recorded from the sensor before, during, and after deposition, indicating the process parameters were sufficient to maintain the build without damaging the sensing capability.
Embedded sensors for the applications mentioned above can be utilized most simply to “listen” to the material around it, identifying parameters such as failures, stresses, and/or other forces long before they are detected by other methods. This may provide alternatives conventional NDT methods.