Purdue University says it plans to expand its hub of hypersonics research with the addition of a center that will specialize in materials resistant to high temperatures. The new Hypersonics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (HAMTC) will be located inside the planned hypersonics facility for which ground was broken late last year.
Air resistance at hypersonic speeds, those that are five times the speed of sound, creates extremely hot temperatures. The new center will explore ways to prevent damage from occurring on hypersonic devices, such as aircraft, space exploration vehicles and missiles.
“When you heat up 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, small differences in expansion can cause large stresses between components made of different materials that may result in failure of hypersonic vehicles,” said Michael Sangid, executive director of HAMTC. “At HAMTC, we can essentially increase the temperature capabilities of materials via new compositions, create new manufacturing routes to produce complex geometrical designs, and join these dissimilar materials together, in order to meet the requirements of hypersonic environments.”
Sangid said the opportunity to develop new materials with industry leaders is a “game-changer” for Purdue.
The center will provide a single location for Purdue’s industry partners, including Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Boeing (NYSE: BA) and GE Additive, a division of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) to work on materials and manufacturing innovations.
“The potential and opportunity for additive manufacturing in hypersonics is huge,” said Chris Schuppe, general manager – engineering and technology, GE Additive. “We are honored to be part of Purdue’s team supporting the Department of Defense in manufacturing research that will advance U.S. national security and competitiveness.”
Purdue says discovery at the HAMTC might also apply to other industries.
In addition to the manufacturing technology center, the Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility will also house the only Mach 8 quiet wind tunnel in the world.