YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University will receive a $2.3 million research and development award from the Air Force Research Laboratory to create a hub-and-spoke consortium on hybrid manufacturing.

The consortium includes the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and will focus on further advancing work to fabricate, inspect and repair metallic machine parts, molds and dies, as well as defense components.

Pedro Cortes, a YSU associate professor of Chemical Engineering, says this project will help students engage in a real-world application.

“This award is yet another reflection of YSU’s continued national leadership in advanced manufacturing. This project will address real-world, industrially-relevant applications by transforming the manner in which new metal structures are fabricated and repaired,” he said.

The project includes the purchase and installation of a 3D printing laser hot wire cladding Direct Energy Deposition Mazak system at YSU’s new Excellence Training Center.

YSU is one of only three institutions nationwide utilizing the Mazak system, according to Jackie Ruller, YSU’s director of Advanced Manufacturing Research and Commercial Projects.

Cortes says the system will provide a hybrid printing technology that combines the simultaneous benefits of additive manufacturing with the advantages of subtractive manufacturing.

He went on to say that the technology requires dramatically less energy usage than conventional processing, allowing it to create geometrically-complex and lightweight products that were not previously possible.

The project will leverage multiple hybrid systems located across the team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Also supporting the project are the University of Texas at El Paso and the Youngstown Business Incubator.

At YSU, the project will be led by Cortes and Ruller, as well as faculty members Brian Vuksanovich, Holly Martin and Kyunsong Choo.