Florida International University recently unveiled its new Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition Laboratory, a facility that will improve techniques for the repair, design and durability of high-performance materials. The lab is supported by a five-year, $22.9 million grant from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.
The lab will advance additive manufacturing techniques such as cold-jet printing, in which particles are blown onto a material surface at low temperatures. These techniques are particularly relevant to 3D printing, rapid repair of machinery and coating materials to make them more durable. In particular, the research could impact the manufacturing of next-generation vehicles and munitions while promoting economic development.
“FIU’s commitment to innovation and impact is on full display today as we celebrate the opening of this lab,” said Kenneth A. Jessell, president of FIU. “We show the world today that we are a leader for Army Research Lab Cold Spray Technology and an influential partner, together with our congressional delegation, in building up Miami’s tech, innovation and manufacturing ecosystem.”
Led by Professor Arvind Agarwal, a renowned expert in advanced additive manufacturing techniques, the lab will implement projects ranging from antibacterial coatings for medical use to corrosion prevention in coastal communities.
“From developing antibacterial coatings for biomedical use to assisting in environmental corrosion prevention in coastal communities, these technologies promise to deliver solutions to a myriad of real-world problems, while helping to train the next generation of researchers, technologists and STEM professionals in the fields of robotics, advanced manufacturing, aerospace technologies and machine learning,” Agarwal said.
The opening of the lab positions FIU as a key research partner for the Department of Defense and industry.
“We have a large group of more than 25 researchers working on cold spray and rapid deposition technologies here at the College of Engineering and Computing,” said Ines Triay, interim dean of CEC. “This state-of-the-art lab, the only one of its kind at a Florida university, will allow us to not only augment our research capabilities, but also equip the next generation workforce with critically important skills.”
FIU’s commitment to research and funding through the Army Research Lab was also recognized by the strong support of Florida’s members of Congress. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz expressed pride in FIU’s securing of funding and innovative solutions.
“I am so proud I was able to help secure the funding supporting the innovative solutions that FIU is developing, in this case helping to ensure our defense systems are agile and meeting the needs of our troops, while also bolstering the manufacturing ecosystem in South Florida,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.