Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

EL Highlights December 2014

EL Highlights December 2014

Return to Highlight page

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

EL Accomplishes First In-Process Video Imaging of Additive Manufacturing Processes

EL researchers Brandon Lane, Eric Whitenton, Shawn Moylan, and Gregor Jacob successfully completed initial imaging tests on the NIST metal-based additive manufacturing system using a thermal camera, hyperspectral camera, and high speed camera. These are the highest speed, highest magnification videos of the commercial direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process currently known, and are the first step in providing much needed measurement verification for DMLS process simulations, and in-depth observation of how DMLS process signatures are affected by changing conditions. These tests finalized the required optics, camera parameters, and machine operating procedures to enable all subsequent imaging measurements. The videos showed multiple phenomena that had yet to be experimentally observed. For example, molten powder particles are ejected from the melt pool at an unanticipated frequency and speed such that heat loss due to mass transfer may have a significant effect on the energy balance. This phenomenon is largely unaccounted for in current DMLS multi-physics simulations, and enumeration will provide more accurate process models. In addition, a hot, gaseous 'plume' can be seen emanating from the melt pool. This phenomenon is widely discussed in laser welding literature, but not yet observed in the DMLS process. Immediate future steps are to calibrate the thermal camera to provide a temperature scale to the collected images, measure powder and solid surface emissivity, and conduct more imaging experiments. A video detailing the experiment setup and initial thermal videos is available upon request.

CONTACT: Brandon Lane (301) 975-5471

Impact of NIST Research

EL Research Fuels On-Line Course on Modern Firefighting

A new, free, online course offered by the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute highlights the tactical application of nearly two decades of research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and UL on how best to fight modern fires. The focal point of the course is the results from a series of live fire experiments conducted by NIST, UL and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) in 2012 on Governor's Island, New York.

The insights gained from that history of research are distilled in "Scientific Research for the Development of More Effective Tactics," the new online course offered by FSRI. Designed for firefighters of all grades, the course, according to FSRI, brings science to the streets by examining two main groups of tactical considerations. The first group looks at the impact of controlling ventilation and flow paths. The second explores the use of exterior fire attack as a means to rapidly reduce the fire hazard inside the structure in order to facilitate interior fire operations.

CONTACT: Daniel Madrzykowski

EL Plays Lead Role in Update of Green Building Design Standard 

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published an updated version of Standard 189.1-2014, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings. This standard, co-sponsored by ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society and the U.S. Green Building Council, is the only industry consensus standard covering sustainable design in commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings. The scope of the standard includes site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. The 2014 standard incorporates 67 individual changes, or addenda, made through the public review process since the standard was last published in 2011. These changes are based on the latest information available to the committee from research studies and practical experience. The project committee is chaired by Andy Persily of EL, and the revision reflects EL research findings related to building airtightness, ventilation system performance and indoor air quality. The standard is written in mandatory, enforceable language to facilitate its adoption into building codes and other regulations. It has already been adopted by ten state and local jurisdictions through its inclusion as a project compliance path under the International Green Construction Code. Compliance with the updated standard will help further reduce energy and environmental impacts through high performance building design, construction and operation while providing indoor environments that support the activities of building occupants.

CONTACT: Andy Persily, 301-975-6418


Kick-Off of NIST Additive Manufacturing Caucus

Additive manufacturing, building parts layer-by-layer by joining materials based on 3D model data, has the potential to fundamentally change manufacturing. With its beginnings in the 1980's, additive manufacturing is transforming the way of designing and producing complex parts. Driven by U.S. industry needs and priorities, additive manufacturing has become a growing research area for NIST, with multiple Laboratories contributing to measurement science research in this area. To ensure that NIST programs are aligned for maximal impact, the NIST Director's Office established the NIST Additive Manufacturing Caucus to serve as the primary coordination group across NIST, with Roger Kilmer, NIST Chief Manufacturing Officer, serving as the Chair of the Caucus. The objectives of the NIST Additive Manufacturing Caucus are to:

• Provide a forum for increased information sharing and interactions among NIST researchers through mutual lab visits, seminars, and discussions.

• Improve coordination of NIST measurement science research related to additive manufacturing to leverage results and achieve the biggest impacts.

• Develop a consistent and comprehensive message about NIST's role and activities in additive manufacturing for meetings with and presentations to external audiences and stakeholders.

• Establish the foundation for a NIST strategic plan for an integrated additive manufacturing research program that defines key research thrusts and lays out a framework for evaluating progress and identifying additional research needs.

The group held its kick-off meeting on November 12 with participants from across NIST. Roger Kilmer introduced the purpose and plan for the Caucus, and Kevin Jurrens and Richard Ricker presented summaries of additive manufacturing research in the Engineering Laboratory and the Materials Measurement Laboratory, respectively. Howard Harary, Director of the Engineering Laboratory, provided a welcome to the group and voiced his support for the Caucus and its objectives. In preparation for this kick-off meeting, EL and MML project leaders created quad charts for each AM project using a common template to summarize the respective efforts. The presentation slides, project quad charts, and related materials about the Caucus will be available to NIST additive manufacturing researchers through a new SharePoint site and a Caucus email list is being established. The NIST Additive Manufacturing Caucus is expected to meet throughout the year, with the next event targeted for February and to include presentations of technical projects and results.

CONTACT: Roger Kilmer, (301) 975-2301; Kevin Jurrens, (301) 975-5486; Richard Ricker, (301) 975-6023; Simon Frechette, (301) 975-2661

EL Hosts Roadmapping Workshop on Manufacturing Prognostics and Health Management

EL researchers Brian Weiss, Greg Vogl, and Moneer Helu organized and hosted a roadmapping workshop on Measurement Science for Prognostics and Health Management for Smart Manufacturing Systems held at NIST on November 19-20. This event brought together more than 70 key stakeholders from the prognostics and health management (PHM) community to discuss current and expected measurement science challenges that should be addressed to advance PHM technologies for smart manufacturing systems. The workshop objectives were to identify key measurement science needs, challenges, and gaps hindering the development and deployment of health monitoring, diagnostic, and prognostic technologies at multiple levels within manufacturing facilities; and to identify the priorities and next steps to address these measurement science needs, challenges, and gaps. Information captured in this event will be organized into a comprehensive measurement science roadmap and be made publicly available to the PHM community as a tool to guide research and development efforts.

The event featured keynote presentations, three panel discussions, and parallel breakout sessions on PHM Manufacturing Process Techniques and Metrics, PHM Performance Assessment, and PHM Infrastructure – Hardware, Software, and Integration. Participants represented key stakeholders from manufacturers, technology vendors, technology integrators, academia, standards development organizations, and government agencies. Featured speakers were from the Boeing Company, the Center from Intelligent Maintenance Systems, Ford Motor, Mechanical Solutions, NASA, System Insights, and Toyota. Each breakout group conducted four sessions to gather needed information on Desired Capabilities, Challenges and Barriers for Achieving these Capabilities, Prioritization of Challenges, and Pathways for a Measurement Science Roadmap.

CONTACT: Brian Weiss, (301) 975-4373

EL's Srinivasan Keynotes UK's Through-Life Engineering Services Research Conference

Dr. Vijay Srinivasan gave the keynote talk at the UK's annual Through-life Engineering Services (TES) research conference in London. His well-received keynote talk was based on a co-authored paper with Nenad Ivezic and Boonserm Kulvatunyou titled, "On architecting and composing through-life engineering information services to enable smart manufacturing." Since its inception, the TES Centre has been organizing annual international technical research conferences to discuss, evaluate, and disseminate research results to advance engineering services during the use-phase of complex, long-lasting products and assets. Such products include aircrafts and jet engines; such assets include manufacturing plants and power plants. The TES Centre has core industrial partnerships with Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, and Bombardier. It also has several other, lower-tier industrial partners.

The technical work of this UK EPSRC Through-life Engineering Services and standards that result from it are closely aligned with project(s) in EL's Smart Manufacturing programs. Diagnostics, prognostics, (equipment) health management, and no-fault found (NFF) problems are all research areas that NIST is exploring to assist US manufacturing industry. Standards and measurement solutions we can offer in these areas will be highly beneficial to US manufacturers.

CONTACT: Vijay Srinivasan, 301-975-3508

NIST Staff Active in Forming Direction with NSF on Systems Design Approach

Drs. Vijay Srinivansan and Al Jones of EL and Dr. Sub Subramanian (ITL and CMU) participated in a three-day workshop organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on the 'Theory of Systems Engineering' in Arlington, VA, Nov. 12-14, 2014. The 'Systems Science' program in the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division of the Engineering Directorate of NSF funded this workshop. The goal of the workshop was to identify scientific research problems whose solutions will advance the practice of systems engineering in industry and by U.S. Government agencies such as DOD.

This workshop marked a clear acknowledgment by NSF that systems design (along with systems engineering) has replaced traditional mechanical and civil engineering design in industry and in academic research. As a part of this transition, there is also a realization that theoretical advances in non-engineering fields such as economics, psychology, anthropology, and ethnography, can also contribute to a theory of systems engineering. NSF will publish the results of this workshop to guide its funding of academic research in Systems Science by the CMMI Division.

CONTACTS: Al Jones, 301-975-3554; Vijay Srinivasan, 301-975-3508

Created January 29, 2015, Updated September 21, 2016