Fabrisonic's Ultrasonic AM Integrates Sensors into Metal

Originally titled 'Ultrasonic AM Integrates Sensors into Metal'

Rapid 2018: Fabrisonic’s Ultrasonic AM technology uses solid-state welding to integrate temperature-sensitive components into 3D-printed metal parts.

Fabrisonic’s Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) technology can bond metal at room temperature using sonic energy. Ultrasonic joining is a solid-state welding process that does not require melting, enabling direct integration of temperature-sensitive components such as thermocouples, strain sensors, pressure transducers and active control elements into 3D-printed metal parts.

For example, the company has 3D-printed various aerospace components including wing struts and key mounting brackets with embedded fiber optic strain sensors. These instrumented components were then used to directly correlate external loads to internal strain at specific locations. 

Applications include improving process control by gathering data on internal processes, implementing data-driven decisions on inspection and maintenance intervals, lightweighting production hardware through data collected during prototyping, and enabling the Internet of Things by collecting data inside machinery.