Equipment installation underway in Advanced Manufacturing Suite at CAES facility

Installation of equipment into CAES’ newest laboratory, the Advanced Manufacturing (AM) Suite, began in late 2021. When installation is complete this year, the new suite will boast a 3D metal printer capable of printing structural nuclear materials, a upgraded spark plasma sintering system and other advanced equipment. The total investment is more than $1.4M in in equipment and infrastructure to support materials development, printed sensors and structural additive manufacturing, which will complement INL’s advanced manufacturing strategy, accelerate and support INL’s research and development and help develop new partnerships with academia including the CAES universities, industry, federal agencies and national laboratories. The effort to equip the new AM Suite with cutting-edge equipment that supports existing programs and opens new areas in printed sensors as well as trusted artificial intelligence for advanced manufacturing is being led by CAES Associate Director for Boise State University Dave Estrada, who is also Advanced Manufacturing Deputy Director for Academic Research at INL. The equipment will be managed as a shared resource benefitting multiple INL mission areas, including CAES, NS&T, EES&T, N&HS, ATR, and MFC.
Equipment being installed includes:
• Several mills for powder production, including a Torrey Hills 3-roll mill, Retsch Emax High Energy Ball Mill, Retsch mortar and pestle mill, Retsch cronymill, Torrey Hills 3-roll mill
• High precision scales
• Zeiss Axio imager KMAT (an upright, fully motorized, PC controlled, high performance research microscope)
• Particle Size Analyzer w/Zeta potential measurement
• Rotary evaporators
• Planetary centrifuge
• Anton Paar dynamic mechanical analyzer and rheometer
• Super inkjet printer
• Nanojet aerosol jet desktop printer
• Open Additive Panda 3D Metal Printing System
The AM Suite is complemented by a new Thermofisher Spectra 300 S-STEM in the CAES Microscopy and Characterization Suite for atomic scale imaging of printed materials, including post irradiation examination of printed structural materials and sensors.