Additive manufacturing (AM) technology has been researched and developed for more than 20 years. Rather than removing materials, AM processes make three-dimensional parts directly from CAD models by adding materials layer by layer, offering the beneficial ability to build parts with geometric and material complexities that could not be produced by subtractive manufacturing processes. Through intensive research over the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the development and commercialization of new and innovative AM processes, as well as numerous practical applications in aerospace, automotive, biomedical, energy and other fields. This paper reviews the main processes, materials and applications of the current AM technology and presents future research needs for this technology.
Selective laser melting （SLM）, as one of the additive manufacturing technologies, is widely investigated to fabricate metal parts. In SLM, parts are manufactured directly from powders in a layer-by-layer fashion; SLM also provides several advantages, such as production of complex parts with high three-dimensional accuracy, compared with other additive manufacturing technologies. Therefore, SLM can be applied in aeronautics, astronautics, medicine, and die and mould industry. However, this technique differs from traditional methods, such as casting and forging; for instance, the former greatly differs in terms of microstructure and properties of products. This paper summarizes relevant studies on metal material fabrication through SLM. Based on a work completed in Huazhong Univ. Sci Tech., Rapid Manuf. Center （HUST-RMC） and compared with characteristics described in other reported studies, microstructure, properties, dimensional accuracy, and application of SLM are presented.
Information and communication technology is undergoing rapid development, and many disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence, have emerged. These technologies are permeating the manufacturing industry and enable the fusion of physical and virtual worlds through cyber-physical systems (CPS), which mark the advent of the fourth stage of industrial production (i.e., Industry 4.0). The widespread application of CPS in manufacturing environments renders manufacturing systems increasingly smart. To advance research on the implementation of Industry 4.0, this study examines smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0. First, a conceptual framework of smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0 is presented. Second, demonstrative scenarios that pertain to smart design, smart machining, smart control, smart monitoring, and smart scheduling, are presented. Key technologies and their possible applications to Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems are reviewed based on these demonstrative scenarios. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are identified and discussed.
Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs), which possess the advantages of both dedicated serial lines and flexible manufacturing systems, were introduced in the mid-1990s to address the challenges initiated by globalization. The principal goal of an RMS is to enhance the responsiveness of manufacturing systems to unforeseen changes in product demand. RMSs are costeffective because they boost productivity, and increase the lifetime of the manufacturing system. Because of the many streams in which a product may be produced on an RMS, maintaining product precision in an RMS is a challenge. But the experience with RMS in the last 20 years indicates that product quality can be definitely maintained by inserting in-line inspection stations. In this paper, we formulate the design and operational principles for RMSs, and provide a state-of-the-art review of the design and operations methodologies of RMSs according to these principles. Finally, we propose future research directions, and deliberate on how recent intelligent manufacturing technologies may advance the design and operations of RMSs.
Batteries have been widely applied in many high-power applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles, where a suitable battery management system (BMS) is vital in ensuring safe and reliable operation of batteries. This paper aims to give a brief review on several key technologies of BMS, including battery modelling, state estimation and battery charging. First, popular battery types used in EVs are surveyed, followed by the introduction of key technologies used in BMS. Various battery models, including the electric model, thermal model and coupled electro-thermal model are reviewed. Then, battery state estimations for the state of charge, state of health and internal temperature are comprehensively surveyed. Finally, several key and traditional battery charging approaches with associated optimization methods are discussed.
Terahertz (THz) waves, whose frequencies range between microwave and infrared, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A gap exists in THz literature because investigating THz waves is difficult due to the weak characteristics of the waves and the lack of suitable THz sources and detectors. Recently, THz nondestructive testing (NDT) technology has become an interesting topic. This review outlines several typical THz devices and systems and engineering applications of THz NDT techniques in composite materials, thermal barrier coatings, car paint films, marine protective coatings, and pharmaceutical tablet coatings. THz imaging has higher resolution but lower penetration than ultrasound imaging. This review presents the significance and advantages provided by the emerging THz NDT technique.
Tissue engineering (TE) is an integrated discipline that involves engineering and natural science in the development of biological materials to replace, repair, and improve the function of diseased or missing tissues. Traditional medical and surgical treatments have been reported to have side effects on patients caused by organ necrosis and tissue loss. However, engineered tissues and organs provide a new way to cure specific diseases. Scaffold fabrication is an important step in the TE process. This paper summarizes and reviews the widely used scaffold fabrication methods, including conventional methods, electrospinning, three-dimensional printing, and a combination of molding techniques. Furthermore, the differences among the properties of tissues, such as pore size and distribution, porosity, structure, and mechanical properties, are elucidated and critically reviewed. Some studies that combine two or more methods are also reviewed. Finally, this paper provides some guidance and suggestions for the future of scaffold fabrication.
Additive manufacturing （AM） technologies, such as selective laser sintering （SLS） and fused deposition modeling （FDM）, have become the powerful tools for direct manufacturing of complex parts. This breakthrough in manufacturing technology makes the fabrication of new geometrical features and multiple materials possible. Past researches on designs and design methods often focused on how to obtain desired functional performance of the structures or parts, specific manufacturing capabilities as well as manufacturing constraints of AM were neglected. However, the inherent constraints in AM processes should be taken into account in design process. In this paper, the enclosed voids, one type of manufacturing constraints of AM, are investigated. In mathematics, enclosed voids restriction expressed as the solid structure is simply- connected. We propose an equivalent description of simply-connected constraint for avoiding enclosed voids in structures, named as virtual temperature method （VTM）. In this method, suppose that the voids in structure are filled with a virtual heating material with high heat conductivity and solid areas are filled with another virtual material with low heat conductivity. Once the enclosed voids exist in structure, the maximum temperature value of structure will be very high. Based upon this method, the simplyconnected constraint is equivalent to maximum temperature constraint. And this method can be easily used to formulate the simply-connected constraint in topology optimization. The effectiveness of this description method is illustrated by several examples. Based upon topology optimization, an example of 3D cantilever beam is used to illustrate the trade-off between manufacturability and functionality. Moreover, the three optimized structures are fabricated by FDM technology to indicate further the necessity of considering the simply-connected constraint in design phase for AM.
Friction stir welding （FSW） process has gained attention in recent years because of its advantages over the conventional fusion welding process. These advantages include the absence of heat formation in the affected zone and the absence of large distortion, porosity, oxidation, and cracking. Experimental investigations are necessary to understand the physical behavior that causes the high tensile strength of welded joints of different metals and alloys. Existing literature indicates that tensile properties exhibit strong dependence on the rotational speed, traverse speed, and axial force of the tool that was used. Therefore, this study introduces the experimental procedure for measuring tensile properties, namely, ultimate tensile strength （UTS） and tensile elongation of the welded AA 7020 A1 alloy. Experimental findings suggest that a welded part with high UTS can be achieved at a lower heat input compared with the high heat input condition. A numerical approach based on genetic programming is employed to produce the functional relationships between tensile properties and the three inputs （rotational speed, traverse speed, and axial force） of the FSW process. The formulated models were validated based on the experimental data, using the statistical metrics. The effect of the three inputs on the tensile properties was investigated using 2D and 3D analyses. A high UTS was achieved, including a rotational speed of 1050 r/min and traverse speed of 95 mm/min. The results also indicate that 8 kN axial force should be set prior to the FSW process.
The recent proliferation of wind turbines has revealed problems in their vulnerability under different site conditions, as evidenced by recent collapses of wind towers after severe actions. Analyses of structures subjected to variable actions can be conducted through several methods with different accuracy levels. Nonlinear dynamics is the most reliable among such methods. This study develops a numerical procedure to obtain approximate solutions for rigid-plastic responses of structures subjected to base harmonic pulses. The procedure’s model is applied to a wind turbine tower subjected to inertial forces generated by harmonic ground acceleration, and failure is assumed to depend on the formation of shear hinges. The proposed approach provides an efficient representation of the post-elastic behavior of the structure, has a low computational cost and high effectiveness, and uses a limited number of mechanical parameters.
Rapid prototyping (RP) or layered manufacturing (LM) technologies have been extensively used to manufacture prototypes composed mainly of plastics, polymers, paper, and wax due to the short product development time and low costs of these technologies. However, such technologies, with the exception of selective laser melting and sintering, are not used to fabricate metallic products because of the resulting poor life, short cycle, poor surface finish, and low structural integrity of the fabricated parts. The properties endowed by these parts do not match those of functional parts. Therefore, extensive research has been conducted to develop new additive manufacturing (AM) technologies by extending existing RP technologies. Several AM technologies have been developed for the fabrication of metallic objects. These technologies utilize materials, such as Ni-, Al-, and Ti-based alloys and stainless steel powders, to fabricate high-quality functional components. The present work reviews the type of materials used in laser-based AM processes for the manufacture of metallic products. The advantages and disadvantages of processes and different materials are summarized, and future research directions are discussed in the final section. This review can help experts select the ideal type of process or technology for the manufacturing of elements composed of a given alloy or material (Ni, Ti, Al, Pb, and stainless steel).
Functional periodic structures have attracted significant interest due to their natural capabilities in regulating surface energy, surface effective refractive index, and diffraction. Several technologies are used for the fabrication of these functional structures. The laser interference technique in particular has received attention because of its simplicity, low cost, and high-efficiency fabrication of large-area, micro/nanometer-scale, and periodically patterned structures in air conditions. Here, we reviewed the work on laser interference fabrication of large-area functional periodic structures for antireflection, self-cleaning, and superhydrophobicity based on our past and current research. For the common cases, four-beam interference and multi-exposure of two-beam interference were emphasized for their setup, structure diversity, and various applications for antireflection, self-cleaning, and superhydrophobicity. The relations between multi-beam interference and multi-exposure of two-beam interference were compared theoretically and experimentally. Nanostructures as a template for growing nanocrystals were also shown to present future possible applications in surface chemical control. Perspectives on future directions and applications for laser interference were presented.
Counter-roller spinning (CRS), where the mandrel is replaced by rollers, is an effective means of manufacturing large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical parts with more than 2500 mm diameter. CRS is very complex because of multi-axis rotation, multi-local loading along the circumference, and radial-axial compound deformation. Analytical or experimental methods cannot fully understand CRS. Meanwhile, numerical simulation is an adequate approach to investigate CRS with comprehensive understanding and a low cost. Thus, a finite element (FE) model of CRS was developed with the FORGE code via meshing technology, material modeling, determining the friction condition, and so on. The local fine mesh moving with the roller is one of highlights of the model. The developed 3D-FE model was validated through a CRS experiment by using a tubular blank with a 720 mm outer diameter. The developed 3D-FE model of CRS can provide a basis for parameter optimization, process control, die design, and so on. The data on force and energy predicted by the 3D-FE model can offer reasonable suggestions for determining the main mechanical parameters of CRS machines and selecting the motors. With the predicted data, an all-electric servo-drive system/machine with distributed power was designed in this work for CRS with four pairs of rollers to manufacture a large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical part with 6000 mm diameter.
Laser polishing is a technology of smoothening the surface of various materials with highly intense laser beams. When these beams impact on the material surface to be polished, the surface starts to be melted due to the high temperature. The melted material is then relocated from the ‘peaks to valleys’ under the multidirectional action of surface tension. By varying the process parameters such as beam intensity, energy density, spot diameter, and feed rate, different rates of surface roughness can be achieved. High precision polishing of surfaces can be done using laser process. Currently, laser polishing has extended its applications from photonics to molds as well as bio-medical sectors. Conventional polishing techniques have many drawbacks such as less capability of polishing freeform surfaces, environmental pollution, long processing time, and health hazards for the operators. Laser polishing on the other hand eliminates all the mentioned drawbacks and comes as a promising technology that can be relied for smoothening of initial topography of the surfaces irrespective of the complexity of the surface. Majority of the researchers performed laser polishing on materials such as steel, titanium, and its alloys because of its low cost and reliability. This article gives a detailed overview of the laser polishing mechanism by explaining various process parameters briefly to get a better understanding about the entire polishing process. The advantages and applications are also explained clearly to have a good knowledge about the importance of laser polishing in the future.
Nano-precision positioning stages are characterized by rigid-flexible coupling systems. The complex dynamic characteristics of mechanical structure of a stage, which are determined by structural and dynamic parameters, exert a serious influence on the accuracy of its motion and measurement. Systematic evaluation of such influence is essential for the design and improvement of stages. A systematic approach to modeling the dynamic accuracy of a nano-precision positioning stage is developed in this work by integrating a multi-rigid-body dynamic model of the mechanical system and measurement system models. The influence of structural and dynamic parameters, including aerostatic bearing configurations, motion plane errors, foundation vibrations, and positions of the acting points of driving forces, on dynamic accuracy is investigated by adopting the H-type configured stage as an example. The approach is programmed and integrated into a software framework that supports the dynamic design of nano-precision positioning stages. The software framework is then applied to the design of a nano-precision positioning stage used in a packaging lithography machine.
This study focuses on establishing nonconforming crack front elements of quadrilateral and triangular types for 3D crack problems when the dual boundary element method is applied. The asymptotic behavior of the physical variables in the area near the crack front is fully considered in the construction of the shape function. In the developed quadrilateral and triangular crack front elements, the asymptotic term, which captures the asymptotic behavior of the physical variable, is multiplied directly by the conventional Lagrange shape function to form a new crack front shape function. Several benchmark numerical examples that consider penny-shaped cracks and straight-edge crack problems are presented to illustrate the validity and efficiency of the developed crack front elements.