‘Smart Baseplate’  – Measuring stress in PBF baseplate

Fabrisonic’s patented low-temperature Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) process utilizes ultrasonic welding to 3D print metal parts.  Although our process does not use powders, we have lots of friends in industry that use powder based processes.  Read “Not ALL 3D Printers Use Powder” for a more in depth break down of the difference between UAM and powder bed fusion.  One of the biggest complaints we hear from our powder brethren is consternation around build plates:

  • Parts can debond or delaminate from the build plate during printing, which can be difficult to detect since the part is buried in powder.
  • Build plates distort due to build up residual stress.
  • Build plate bolts break from excess residual stress during a build.
  • We don’t understand how stress builds up around individual parts during a build leading to distorted final parts.

During one such conversation with our colleagues at EWI, he stated, “How can we measure the loads going through the build plate?”  Since Fabrisonic was working currently on embedding strain sensors in aerospace parts, we suggested that we 3D print a build plate with embedded sensors.   And thus began the journey to build a ‘smart baseplate’ or ‘smart build plate’.

Fabrisonic teamed with EWI (PBF research) and Luna Innovations (Fiber Optic Sensors) to design and build an instrumented PBF build plate for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) under a Phase I STTR.  Fabrisonic used its solid-state 3D process to print a plate with a single embedded fiber optic sensor.   The fiber optic was embedded with a specific undulating pattern that allows resolving the strain across the entire build plate.  The team put the smart baseplate in EWI’s PBF machine and attempted a build that included ‘problematic’ features.   From this initial build the team found that the device picked up significantly more information than just bulk stress state:

  • Resolution and scan rate were high enough to actually discern the scan strategy of each layer.
  • Defects showed up as large compressive strains forming early in the build at localized points.
  • Slow delamination of a specific feature could be seen in the data although the recoater blade never hit the build.

The video above shows true strain-time plots resolved in the x-y plane (left) and the raw data along the length of the fiber (right).   These colorful strain-time histories easily communicate what is happening in the build.   However, further data slicing can provide a deep understanding of the quality of the build:

  • Analyzing individual ‘pixels’ for sudden vector changes provides tell-tale signs of many build issues.
  • Comparing time histories of adjacent pixels also highlights problems in the build.

Figure 1 – As a crack forms and propagates it is normal to see a transverse compression to form at the point of separation (left).   Strain vector changes also highlight certain flaws (right).

Based on the preliminary results, the team feels that this approach could be used to monitor quality during PBF builds:

  • For series production, data can be compared between a known ‘good’ baseline and subsequent serial numbers.
  • For low volume, build flaws can be identified as they happen allowing the operator to do a full abort, saving powder and machine time.
  • For multi-part builds, build flaws in a single part can be seen allowing the operator to abort that feature before it affects others.

Fabrisonic continues to evolve the concept of the Smart Baseplate with additions of a variety of sensors including thermocouples and vibration sensors.   The team recently upgraded an EOS M290 for further investigations for quality monitoring.


Fabrisonic featured in NASA Spinoff Magazine

Fabrisonic was recognized in the latest release of NASA’s Spinoff 2022 publications for its successful technology and capability developments in support of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The article, A Novel additive manufacturing technique combines metals and embeds sensors details how Fabrisonic’s Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing process could be used to create a lighter weight, higher performing heat exchanger.

“The SBIR program is a godsend to small businesses as it allows us non-dilutive funding to perfect our craft,” comments Mark Norfolk, CEO, Fabrisonic

Excerpt:

A burst water main is always a mess, but a pipe that fails in space can be mission-ending. That’s why NASA technologists must make hardware as reliable as possible.

This challenge spurred Scott Roberts, a technologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, to turn to a new kind of welding in the 3D printing industry. He thought ultrasonic additive manufacturing (and Fabrisonic) could improve spacecraft components’ reliability. Now one company that used the technique to build parts for Roberts is manufacturing parts for industries from aeronautics to oil drilling. Click here to read the entire article


Meet Dr. Jason Riley, Fabrisonic COO

Dr. Jason Riley, COO, Fabrisonic

Meet Dr. Jason Riley: leader, learner, innovator, outdoor adventurer. And now, he’s the proud Chief Operating Officer of Fabrisonic. Dr. Riley has a diverse career and background, and has taken a nontraditional route on his journey to Fabrisonic and into the advanced manufacturing field.

He received a BA in Criminology from The Ohio State University in 2003. After graduating, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, where he served on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan on three separate deployments. Over the next few years, Dr. Riley completed his MA in biblical studies from Ashland Theological Seminary, with a detour in the middle of his studies to return to active duty from 2009 to 2011. He has also graduated from the Marine Corps University Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College.

This activation brought him and his family to California, where he taught an emerging concept to Marine Corps units throughout the West Coast. Upon completing this mission, he began his Ph.D. program in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. In this stage of his journey, Dr. Riley co-wrote and published a book about his Marine Corps experiences, and he began a teaching career at the graduate-student level. He continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve today. Dr. Riley shared, “The 18+ years I have spent in the Marine Corps, both active duty and reserve, have made me who I am and have given me numerous skills that I bring to my civilian leadership and operations roles.”

Dr. Riley and his wife, Angie

In 2018, he had the opportunity to join Amorphology, Inc. a materials science company as employee number one. Dr. Riley said, “I primarily capitalized my leadership and management experience and skills to get this JPL-Caltech spinout company off the ground.” There, he led efforts to build out the company’s 14,000sf end-to-end R&D and manufacturing facility. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and led the company until he joined Fabrisonic in 2021.

In the Industry

Dr. Riley is excited to work with the team at Fabrisonic. He shared, “I enjoy working with highly-skilled, motivated team members, learning new things, and being a part of accomplishing challenging projects on a day-to-day basis. The team here at Fabrisonic is awesome.”

Dr. Riley has been a part of two advanced manufacturing start-ups over the past four years. He continued, “Fabrisonic has an incredibly promising future in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem… We need more companies like this to advance our manufacturing capabilities here in the U.S.”

For Dr. Riley, there is no “typical” workweek. And he loves that! He said, “Every week we are working on new projects, and encountering and overcoming new challenges.” Advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing is expanding at a rapid rate. New technologies are being developed, old technologies are advancing; new companies are arising, and existing companies are growing or being acquired.

Dr. Riley shared that anyone going into the industry should be “adaptive, willing and ready to learn, and willing to get their hands dirty and pitch in where necessary.”

Now for the fun stuff…

Dr. Riley hiking with his kids
Family winching the Toyota Sequoia out of the mud

In Dr. Riley’s free time, he loves spending time with his wife, Angie, his two kids, Eliana and Micah, their cat, Shilah and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Atlas. They are big explorers and adventurers. When they lived in Southern California, they regularly went camping in the Sierras or the desert. In 2019, they decided to spontaneously travel to Alaska for Christmas, where they learned how to ski, dog-sled, and attempt to enjoy the -20 degree weather.

In 2020, they took an 8-day “Thankscamping” trip to Arizona, and in 2021, they spent a week on an off-road trip through several Utah national parks. Over the past few years, they have enjoyed 5 to 9 mile hikes with their 8 and 11 year olds, hiking in elevations between 6,000 and 11,000 feet. Along the way, their 2006 Toyota Sequoia—which Dr. Riley built out—has become part of the family. It is complete with an Old Man Emu/Dobinson suspension, BFG A/T tires, dual battery system, and sliders. It has brought them to some incredible places, like Canyonlands National Park in Utah, where they were stuck in the mud and had to winch themselves out.

Dr. Riley even shared that when he was a kid, he wanted to be Jean-Claude Van Damme or a major league baseball player. He said, “So, if there is anyone out there willing to let me play one inning of major league baseball, that would be awesome.”

We’re proud to welcome Dr. Jason Riley to our team.


America Makes Project to Accelerate UAM Adoption

Today I want to share with you a sad story of toil and defeat.  Of a hero’s journey through hard work, a long road, dead ends, and backtracking.  Don’t worry, dear reader, it ultimately has a happy ending.

Fabrisonic has been a spinout company of EWI since 2011 and our patented ultrasonic additive manufacturing technology has been in development even longer.  With any new manufacturing technology, a critical hurdle is in figuring out the key capabilities and use cases.  After ten years in business, we now know that the most critical capabilities are:

For this latter capability, we developed much of this technology while making heat exchangers with NASA JPL.

We started out making very simple channels.  Over time, we were able to develop the process to produce increasingly complex heat exchangers (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  A visual history of heat exchanger development from simple through samples to highly complex shapes.

After many trials and false starts, eventually, we learned how to produce wide channels with our proprietary support material (patent pending).  This has enabled us to be able to produce very large heat exchangers (Figure 2), waveguides, and other types of items with complex interior geometries.  Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) is often used in such applications as a replacement process for brazing or explosion welding.

Figure 2.  A few examples of the many heat exchangers produced at Fabrisonic for NASA JPL showing the wide range of sizes

The NASA SBIR projects led to the exciting opportunity to be able to produce a VAMP (vertical avionics mounting plate) heat exchanger for the Mars 2020 Rover mission (Figure 3).  The original design was built by hand using numerous components including bolts and epoxy to glue tubing to a frame.  That design weighed 4 lbs. and took over 2 months to produce.  The new 3D printed version using Fabrisonic’s UAM technology was 1 piece, had over a 30% weight reduction, and could be produced in 3 weeks with no tooling and no post-processing.

The next step was testing.  The parts were nondestructive tested, helium leak tested to better than 1e-9 scc/s GHe, vibration tested, and thermal cycled.  Sample heat exchangers were even burst pressure tested to over 6000 psi.    The UAM heat exchanger passed everything that was thrown at it.  The VAMP heat exchanger was thoroughly CT scanned (Figure 4). 

Awesome! Right? 

Not so fast. 

In the end, it was determined a part made with a new manufacturing process was too risky for NASA’s one shot with the Mars Rover Perseverance mission. There just wasn’t enough statistical materials data to be 100% confident that there was zero risk of failure.  Ultimately, Perseverance was launched July 30, 2020, without its UAM heat exchanger and relied on the heavier design based on the traditional tube bonded to plate technology.  It landed on February 18, 2021, and continues to do its work on Mars.

That might be the end of the story, except that Fabrisonic’s ethos is based on perseverance just like the name of the Mars Rover. While we didn’t make that mission, we are continuing in our efforts to be able to provide NASA as well as any commercial customers with the data that they need for having statistically confident design allowable data.

Figure 3.  Mars Rover Perseverance…
Figure 3.  …and the VAMP heat exchanger intended for it.

Figure 4.  CT scans of the VAMP heat exchanger.

To that end, we have recently begun, along with America Makes, a project to create just that set of data for 6061 aluminum.  America Makes is the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing.  It is part of Manufacturing USA, an initiative to coordinate public and private investment in emerging advanced manufacturing technologies. There are 228 member organizations from the government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry, including large OEMs as well as small businesses and startups. 

The project awarded from the 2021 Open Project Calls is partnering with The Ohio State University, 3Degrees, and Westmoreland Testing Lab.  The announcement (Figure 5) also shows the other project leads including Penn State, ASTM International, and Boeing.  We are honored to be included in such good company.

Figure 5.  Announced winners of the 2021 America Makes Open Project Call.

The Fabrisonic team’s project is titled Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing Technical Data Package Maturation. 

What that means is that we are working to meet the aerospace industry’s needs for a Technical Data Package.  TDP means having a technical description of an item sufficient to support acquisition, production, engineering, and logistics.  One must have enough information to define how something is made and to be confident in its performance. 

We are working to create enough data in various print thicknesses and processing conditions to be able to have UAM 6061 in the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization Handbook.  This includes characterizing raw material, as printed material, and HIP (Hot isostatic press) and heat-treated to T6 material.  We are also starting work on developing an industry standard to cover processing requirements that correspond to the data.

While the project is in its initial stages and runs through the end of May 2022, we look forward to sharing more details on the results at the spring America Makes Technical Review and Exchange (TRX) currently planned for March 22-24, 2022.


What Could Make Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) Better? – UAM Post Processing

By Sarah Jordan

Cold spray additive manufacturing (CSAM) is a new process.  It is based on traditional cold spray technology.  The process works by accelerating powder particles to nearly the speed of sound.  This gives the particles the needed energy to bond to a material.

CSAM has been adopted for use in repair.  It is also used for component manufacturing.  It is a solid-state process.  This means that no melting occurs.  Typically, the temperature is below 400℉.  CSAM has been shown to work with most metals and alloys.  It also can work with metallic glasses, metal matrix composites (MMCs), and even polymers. The process has several benefits including:

  • High deposition rate of up to 100 lbs. per hour. 
  • There are larger build envelopes due to not needing an inert gas or vacuum.  This means larger parts can be made.
  • Low energy use.
  • Parts do not have heat affected zones.  They do not require a post process heat treatment.  This saves time, prevents distortion, and makes repairs easier.
  • The process can join different metals to make new metal matrix composites.

With such beneficial capabilities, CSAM is utilized in many industries.  These include aerospace, defense, tooling applications, and more. 

A problem with CSAM has been that the material can fall short of the expected properties.  This is particularly true for harder metals which tend to have more porosity and less bonding. Attempts have been made to address this with post-processing.  Current techniques, however, can cause cracks, distortion, and thermal-induced metallurgy problems.  The application of heat is an issue for any CSAM that involves multiple metals.  When heat is applied the two metals can diffuse into one another, creating undesirable brittle intermetallics. 

Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) has recently been utilized as an alternative post-process technique.  Normally UAM is used to consolidate metal foils into a solid piece of metal.  The process uses high-powered ultrasonic vibrations (20,000 to 30,000 Hertz) in combination with downward pressure.  This creates a friction bond that joins the foils together. 

In the case of UAM as a post process, the metal foils were removed.  The UAM head was used on the CSAM surface to further consolidate the cold spray material.  The benefits of UAM as a post process are that it has similar characteristics to CSAM.  UAM is also fast, has large build envelopes, does not require an inert gas or vacuum, has low energy use, and is a solid-state process.

In the study, cold spray was used to produce MMCs made of two blends of metal powders.  The powders used were Cu-38Ni and CrC-30NiCr.  Then UAM was performed on cold spray deposits to further consolidate the material.  Testing included hardness, adhesive strength, tensile properties, porosity, and resulting microstructure.

The application of the UAM post-process showed great results:

  • The ability to compress and level the surface coating and improve the surface finish.
  • Hardness showed a slight increase of 2-5%.
  • Adhesive strength increased 8-13%. 
  • Yield strength increased 4-11%.   
  • The grain size was also shown as being refined which can potentially improve the corrosion resistance. 

This is an initial study to use UAM as a post process.  The results appear very promising!


My Experience as a 3D Printing Intern

By Guest Blogger Matthew Burkhart October 2021

My name is Matthew Burkhart, and I spent the summer of 2021 working as an engineering intern for Fabrisonic. I am currently a senior at The Ohio State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Prior to applying to Fabrisonic, I had little knowledge of additive manufacturing. I applied to Fabrisonic in January of 2020 for a part-time student machine operator position. This was a step outside of my comfort zone as I had never operated a CNC mill.  The minimal 3D printing experience I had was from high school.

After getting hired, I was introduced to Fabrisonic’s ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) technology, and it immediately drew my curiosity. I began working on Fabrisonic’s SonicLayer 4000 producing early-stage production parts that involved welding aluminum sheets onto parts with various geometries. This was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of UAM. I also worked with our great team of engineers and technicians to help develop my intuition into the additive manufacturing process.

Figure 1 Fabrisonic SonicLayer 4000

My experience as a part-time operator opened the door for me to become an engineering intern for Fabrisonic. As an engineering intern for Fabrisonic, I was immediately given a good amount of responsibility. I was tasked with building a SonicLayer 1200 machine. The SonicLayer 1200 is based on a Tormach 1100 MX CNC mill that is retrofitted with Fabrisonic’s UAM assembly. It is Fabrisonic’s smallest machine with its 10 x10 x 10-inch build volume. The SonicLayer 1200 is a very user-friendly machine and is a less expensive option for UAM capabilities.

Working on the SonicLayer 1200 has been a great experience for me to develop my skill set as an engineer. The responsibility that I was given on this project as an intern has been my favorite part of working with Fabrisonic. At larger companies, it is rare that an intern would be given this amount of responsibility. The startup environment of Fabrisonic gave me the opportunity to develop hands-on experience and play a part in the development of several projects.

My work has involved placing work orders with machine shops, developing electrical circuits, routing pneumatic lines, constructing the UAM components such as the weld head assembly below.  I also aided in the final assembly of the machine. I followed the lead of our production engineer Dan King, but I was expected to contribute a large role in the overall development of the machine.

Figure 2 Fabrisonic UAM weld head assembly

We recently finished the assembly of this machine and running test programs to certify its completion. It has been a great experience working on this project from its start and seeing the final product in operation. The machine recently shipped to its new home. 

Figure 3 Fabrisonic prepares to ship a SonicLayer 1200 machine

Now that my senior year has started, I look to apply my newfound knowledge about additive manufacturing to the senior design project. The introduction to additive manufacturing has helped me find my path within the vast aerospace field. I believe the application of UAM in the aerospace field will continue to grow and I want to be a part of this growth.

There are currently many design challenges facing the aerospace industry that I believe UAM can help solve. One of these challenges is heat dissipation. This is especially true for hypersonic flight conditions where temperatures can reach upwards of 2000 °C. With current subtractive manufacturing techniques, it is very difficult to create complex geometries within the structure of an aircraft. Using additive manufacturing techniques, it is possible to develop much more effective cooling channels that could be utilized within hypersonic aircraft such as with the heat exchanger examples below.

Figure 4 3D metal printed heat exchangers from Fabrisonic

My internship at Fabrisonic has been a very rewarding experience. It has helped me develop a background in additive manufacturing and given me the opportunity to expand my skillset. The future of additive manufacturing is very promising, and I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to work with Fabrisonic’s great team of engineers and technicians.


An Artist’s Time at Fabrisonic

By Guest Blogger Sarah Hoag September 20, 2021

 
   

Hello blog readers! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and the work I’ve done this past summer while working at Fabrisonic.

My name is Sarah Hoag. I’m going into my junior year at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD). I am pursing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation, with a concentration in Game Art and a minor in Business.

As you can probably tell from that line-up, I greatly enjoy drawing and video games, and especially the process behind projects of that nature. Becoming an art director is a huge goal of mine, and I feel this experience has put me one step closer to that.

At the end of last school year, I got a notification that Fabrisonic was interested in hiring me as an intern through the Ohio Third Frontier program. After interviewing and emailing back and forth, I began working in mid-May under the title of “Animation & Marketing Intern.”

I was incredibly nervous since I hadn’t had an employed job like this since 2018 and was a self-employed freelancer until this year. I recognized that I would be putting the skills I’ve learned so far in art school to the test.

Thankfully, Mark Norfolk and the rest of the Fabrisonic team were warm and welcoming. They allowed me to take my time with a flexible work schedule. Moreover, everyone has been really respectful of my craft as I am with their expertise in 3D printing.

Throughout these past couple months, I’ve completed a variety of projects at the request and with the help of my coworkers. The first one was fun—Mark wanted me to design a company t-shirt for a celebratory “Fabrisonic Fun Day,” which turned out to be a success.

The next couple projects revolved around introducing UAM to people who hadn’t heard about it. These included two animated GIFs which also became YouTube videos. The first was of the process of laying down and joining foils. The second was an animation

zoomed in to depict what is happening microscopically. I also developed an introductory blog article that broke down the basics of UAM.

 

I also had a hand in assisting with Fabrisonic’s brand! I went through our website and social media pages, analyzing and critiquing as I scrolled along. This kickstarted some brainstorming for improving our online presence. I edited and fixed various images that needed higher resolution and/or transparency. In addition to this, I sent Mark a vector file of a large vinyl sticker for our front door windows.

The biggest projects were the videos that required filming, voiceovers, and editing. Sarah Jordan and I collaborated on a video entry for American-Made Challenge’s CABLE Conductor Manufacturing competition. Our entry had to be 90 seconds, which was a challenging task as I was newer to filmmaking than animation. I gathered voiceover lines from Mark, assembled various pictures and short clips, and edited it all together with a neat little bow on top. I was incredibly pleased with the result.

Another film that I am quite proud of is our “Four Secrets of Design” video on our YouTube channel. This project relied on the “Draw My Life” style of animation. I recorded those voice lines myself and did a timelapse of my drawings in the app Procreate on my iPad. This big project was also a success!

I also spent time helping with preparing for the SonicLayer X̄ Seam Welder launch. This was a huge part of my internship, and probably took up half the time I was here! I designed the X̄ logo for the new brand, and we went through many, many variations and tweaks before choosing our final logo. During that process, I learned a lot about what goes into graphic design; the procedure of designing something simple yet recognizable is harder than it may seem. Not only did I design the logo, I also created marketing videos for the SonicLayer, those also sporting my voice and edits.

 
 

Finally, we come down to the last week on the job, right before I had to enter the new school year. Maureen Coffey tipped me off to a sidewalk chalk contest being held between all companies in our building. I set off to draw up some concept sketches. We landed on a piece I drew as a tribute to Keith Haring and his modern artwork. Coworker Maureen Coffey and I spent a few hours outside working on it, and came out as the champion entry!

 
   

All in all, it’s been a fulfilling ride all the way to this point. As I enter my junior year, I wish the folks at Fabrisonic the best and hope to see them again soon!


Vote for us! Fabrisonic is a 2021 Finalist in The Cool Parts Showcase

We are very honored to be named a finalist. VOTE FABRISONIC as the winner.

What did we make?  A full-thickness Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) part with a barcode that is undetectable and impossible to counterfeit.





A through-thickness barcode that is both undetectable and impossible to counterfeit. 

These parts were made for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. It is a UAM through-thickness barcode that is both undetectable and impossible to counterfeit.  This part is an example of additive manufacturing for technology protection.  The part can be interrogated to determine that the device has not been altered or tampered with.  In addition to the custom alternating layers of two different metals, 110 copper and 6061 aluminum, this part also has embedded sensors.

View all the finalists here. Do you want to visit the exhibit hall? Use promo code: EXHFABAM Registration link for the show.

And don’t forget, VOTE FABRISONIC as the winner! Cast your vote before October 13, 2021.


America Makes – Fabrisonic Interview from RAPID + TCT 2021 (Video)

Fabrisonic CEO Mark Norfolk sits down with Brandon Ribic from America Makes to talk 3D Printing.

Video highlights include discussion on the trending use of multiple processes, such as Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing coupled with Powder Bed. Fabrisonic, which recently doubled in company size, is also seeing interest in embedded electronic sensors in solid metal for uses such as product health monitors and IoT implementations and build plates for powder bed. Also, trending interest in metal cladding of dissimilar metals.


3D Printing Innovations to Help Traditional Manufacturing: SonicLayer® X̅ When You Need Extra Power!

As Fabrisonic approaches its 10-year anniversary, I am reflecting on the variety of accomplishments that Fabrisonic has achieved with ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM).  UAM is a 3D metal printing technique that uses sound instead of heat to join metal. 

In our short ten years:

  • Commercialized four standard 3D printing machines, as well as numerous custom systems
  • Over 35,000 3D printed parts including components for satellites, nuclear reactors, and aerospace applications
  • Innovations such as the embedding sensors in the Smart Build Plate to help with in situ process monitoring of powder bed fusion equipment
  • Proven out numerous novel material combinations based on UAM’s solid-state nature combining different metal alloys, metal matrix composites, even amorphous metals
  • Recent Government contracts such as America Makes project to help develop MMPDS design allowables for 6061 and a NASA SBIR to develop UAM for use in orbit

Today we turn the page with a new product launch outside of the world of 3D printing.  Don’t worry, we are still religious proponents of 3D printing even as we expand to other large growing markets.  We will continue to serve our UAM customers and expand UAM research, development, and capabilities.

However, as we’ve grown, we have found that there is tremendous demand not only for UAM but for high-powered ultrasonic welding in general. So today, we launch the SonicLayer® X̅ Seam Welder.  This seam welder is faster, has wider welds, and the ability to join more layers in a single pass than any existing seam welder on the market.  Leveraging years of experience in 3D printing, our seam welder simply does more. 

Fabrisonic – Ultrasonic welding horn welding stainless steel foil to stainless steel pressure vessel

The X̅ or X-bar is the seam welder under the Fabrisonic SonicLayer® brand.  The seam welder’s name comes from the Roman numeral for 10,000 as our high-powered seam welding has 10,000 watts of power.   

As a seam welder, the SonicLayer® X̅ is a technology that can be used in many applications.  This includes continuous tube and seam, solar panels, battery anode/cathode tabbing, and connectors.  By repurposing the patented high-powered ultrasonic devices developed for UAM, Fabrisonic can provide a seam welder with twice the power of current market seam welders. 

There are numerous benefits:

FasterUp to 250 inches per minute
ThickerUp to 0.040 inch (1mm)
More MaterialsCapable of Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Nickel alloys, and even Metal Matrix Composites
Down ForceUp to 2,300 pounds (10,000N)
WidthUp to 1.063 inch (27 mm)
EfficientJoin more layers in one pass

The SonicLayer®X̅seam welder has successfully manufactured a variety of electrical grade foils for interconnects, batteries, and flexible shunts as well as welding dissimilar metal combinations such as Cu/Ag, Cu/Al, Al/Fe.   In addition to high-speed production of electrical systems, high-power seam welders can be used for metal foil packaging, sheet metal welding, cladding, and selective reinforcement. The SonicLayer® X̅seam welder can be used in any application needing to join metal foils or sheets together. Use this technology to join multi-material combinations of a vast array of metals and metal matrix composites. 

Four seam welds creating a hermetic seal on an aluminum foil pocket

Is it any wonder our tagline for this product is X-Bar: When You Need Extra Power!

Do you have a project that needs more powerful welding? Call (614) 688-5197 or visit https://www.soniclayerx.com/