Principal investigator: Edward De Meter, Saurabh Basu

University: The Pennsylvania State University

Industry partners: Extrude Hone, LLC

Extrude Hone is the world leader of a manufacturing process called Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM). This process is used to smooth the rough surfaces of parts created by other advanced manufacturing processes. Extrude Hone is under pressure to advance this technology to accommodate additively manufactured (AM) parts. This is because the use of AM processes is exploding. Simultaneously, typical AM parts have complex, difficult-to-access features with surface textures that range from bad to awful. AFM is one of the few technologies with the potential to successfully smooth these types of features. Unfortunately, Extrude Hone’s inability to simulate and analyze the AFM process is hindering its development. The proposed work will provide Extrude Hone with an AFM simulation framework. Using it, Extrude Hone will gain the insights necessary to advance AFM technology and adapt it to processing AM parts. We anticipate this grow Extrude Hone’s business and produce sustainable opportunities for PA talent retention. The proposed work will be carried out by a Ph.D. student in the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State under the supervision of Penn State faculty and Extrude Hone engineers. This project will utilize equipment recently acquired via a grant from the Office of Naval Research for the express purpose of carrying out fundamental AFM research and enhancing its ability to smooth and remove defects from AM part surfaces.