Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Laboratory (AMP)
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The Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining (AMP) Laboratory at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology provides research and development opportunities in state-ofthe-art materials joining and processing, parts fabrication, and materials repair technologies. AMP provides a unique opportunity for research ranging from basic solid-state joining and laser fabrication technology development to the creation of new materials and the test and evaluation of prototype structures, bringing together highly specialized equipment in a laboratory environment to perform research and development projects in friction stir processing. AMP was created in 2003 under a grant from the Army Research Laboratory. The advanced friction stir welding and processing equipment at the School of Mines was designed and installed by industrial partner MTS Systems Corporation. This equipment provided AMP with the most versatile, fully-instrumented research and development tools found anywhere in the world. Since its inception, AMP has added state-of-the-art supersonic cold spraying, ultrasonic spot welding, refill friction stir spot welding, pulsed fusion, cryogenic materials properties testing, and virtual reality joining equipment.
The 5-axis friction stir welding and processing equipment provides the capability to join three dimensional, large, curvilinear structures in ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. This solidstate material processing technology is being investigated to join previously un-weldable materials, including metal matrix composites, and as a fusion weld and riveted joint replacement technology to reduce weight, costs, and to increase performance. It is also being investigated as a microstructural modification tool that can induce super plasticity in materials.
AMP projects involve students from a number of graduate programs and sponsors several undergraduate senior design projects. Sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduate students are employed as undergraduate research assistants to support research efforts. Collaborative outreach programs have been developed with the local Oglala Lakota College through the involvement of Native American summer student interns. The center also collaborates with the Welding Group at Western Dakota Technical Institute to increase student understanding of the manual and semiautomatic fusion welding processes. These multi-disciplinary projects not only involve students and faculty members at the School of Mines, but also include other major academic institutions, industrial partners, and government laboratories.
A major achievement for AMP has been the establishment of the Center for Friction Stir Processing (see page 15), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC).