This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant will contribute to the advancement of national prosperity and economic welfare by enhancing the environmental and economic sustainability of additive manufacturing-based remanufacturing. Additive manufacturing methods comprise such processes as welding, plating and surface reconstruction, as well as 3-D printing. Remanufacturing has emerged as a critical element for realizing a sustainable manufacturing industry in the past decade. Recent progress in additive manufacturing (AM) provides enhanced capabilities for remanufacturing that cannot be achieved with traditional manufacturing processes. However, remanufacturing with AM (RwAM) is accompanied by challenges to ensure that supply chains supporting RwAM operate effectively and economically. Current RwAM practices mainly concern end-of-life products, many of which are no longer remanufacturable due to severe damage. Large uncertainties in environmental impacts are often ignored when determining whether it is worth remanufacturing, resulting in the robustness of the decisions in question. This project will investigate methods to support proactive maintenance to avoid catastrophic, end-of-life failures. Educational opportunities for students, including outreach to underrepresented minorities, are supported by the award.

This award aims to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of RwAM by innovative proactive remanufacturing and resource-sharing. Three specific objectives are pursued: (1) assess and predict the damage condition of a post-RwAM product through data-driven and physics-based models to capture the inherent latent damage process evolution; (2) develop a distributionally-robust proactive RwAM decision framework to hedge against large uncertainties in environmental impacts; (3) create a novel RwAM resource-sharing system based on two-sided matching models to match the unused RwAM resources with demand and examine the impact of flexibility in the RwAM resource-sharing system. Successful development of these models will lead to fundamentally new perspectives on RwAM and accelerate its expansion. The education and outreach plan supports hands-on activities with 3D printers at the university and to rural areas of the state through a traveling laboratory.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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Texas Tech University
United States
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