Christopher Williams PhD, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech
Alan Druschitz, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech
Cellular materials offer high strength accompanied by low-density and can offer high stiffness, good impact-absorption, and thermal and acoustic insulation. This presentation will describe the research in the use of metal casting with 3D printed sand molds to create large-scale cellular materials and sandwich panels with designed mesostructure from a bevy of metal alloys. In addition to enabling the fabricating of castings with complex topologies, the 3D sand printing process also enables the fabrication of multi-functional castings by embedding foreign objects into the mold package. This unique capability will be demonstrated through two examples: (i) the encapsulation of ceramic tiles to provide ballistic protection, and (ii) the inclusion of continuous fiber reinforcement to provide additional stiffness with minimal mass increase. Procedures for fabricating these composite castings will be shared, along with experimental assessment of their resulting performance, including blast simulation, ballistic tests, and compressive and bending strength.