6th R&D Award to Compare AM Parts to Traditional with Computational Testing

May 13, 2018 – Buffalo, NY – The Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs recently awarded Sentient Science with two new awards from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA totaling $350,000, bringing the total sum of awards to over $5 million for the Buffalo-based company’s additive manufacturing program.

Ward Thomas, CEO of Sentient Science said, “Since the Government previously invested $30M into Sentient Science’s DigitalClone physics-based modeling software for the life extension of traditional parts, it was logical that Sentient could compete and win the advanced manufacturing awards using our proven technological approach using materials science. “The issue with qualifying AM parts is every microstructure is different and traditional physical testing would have to be done on each part. This is the perfect application of computational testing vs. physical testing for subcomponents, components and systems.”

The Phase I DOD project that was awarded earlier this quarter is a Navy Phase I that will look at processing techniques for 7000 Series aluminum alloy components. The six-month program will include development of a hybrid additive manufacturing (AM) process to control thermal profile and stress evolution with anticipated results of an enhanced part quality devoid of negligible distortion, cracks and at full dense. This adds aluminum to the library of AM parts made of Titanium and other bearing and gear steels and composites. Now the best decision can be made to use an AM part or a traditional part based on life and price for new designs and for maintenance and repair.

The second Phase I project is sponsored by NASA and is titled A Multiscale Modeling Suite for Process and Microstructure Prediction in Metal Additive Manufacturing. In this program, Sentient will incorporate its core technological approach using its DigitalClone technique for multiscale and multiphysics computational modeling and simulation to predict comprehensible outcomes from AM building processes, including geometrical accuracy and resulting microstructure and defects.

Sentient has successfully transitioned 100% of its additive manufacturing SBIR/STTR Phase I projects to Phase II (3 out of 3), and has high expectations that the three current Phase I projects will have similar success. As a result, Sentient Science is rapidly developing an industry-leading portfolio of capabilities to support design, qualification, and production of parts using AM processes.

“There’s a sizable market opportunity for AM parts with large aerospace companies working with AM processes and materials for new and retrofit designs. Our R&D efforts are focused on filling the current gap in the industry for qualification standards and health monitoring of AM parts,” said Jason Rios, Vice President of Aerospace and Government Programs.

Additive Manufacturing is one of the fastest growing areas of technology development with a global market opportunity of $9 billion in aircraft and defense industries. Military and defense products produced through AM processes will enable the production of lightweight, durable gear, portable power units and spare parts to be processed in remote locations. This will minimize long lead times and extended downtime of assets.

Sentient Science has been developing AM capabilities for the past three years. DigitalClone, Sentient’s flagship software, offers microstructure-level insight into the quality and reliability of AM parts, which will be instrumental in the computational testing and lifing validation for these types of products and materials.

Sentient Science has identified a difference of more than 68% between in service reliability and physical test results. The ability to evaluate and compare the life of AM parts to traditional parts computationally, will enable a clearer understanding of how the parts will perform in operation and the ROI trade off of using an AM part vs. a traditional part.

DigitalClone has a broad array of applications – to include design/process optimization, asset/fleet management, supplier comparisons, and sustainment planning. Sentient has been awarded contracts from the Department of Energy (DoE), Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), US Army, and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to assist the U.S. government in tool development and the establishment of a framework to assess and improve the quality and life expectancy of AM components.

DigitalClone is available commercially in the aerospace, rail and wind turbine industries, unlocking cost savings up to 13% of revenues through life extension and digitalization. For instance, a helicopter may produce $210,000 of revenue each month on average or $2.5 million annually. With DigitalClone, operators can save up to $27,300 of revenue costs monthly and $327,600 annually per helicopter in their portfolio through optimal planning, budgeting and forecasting for maintenance, supply chain and risk management.

For more information, visit sentientscience.com

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Sentient Science Corporation is a trusted third party to the operator, predicting the life and reliability of complex rotating equipment. Sentient Science’s cloud-based software, DigitalClone Platform, manages the health and life extension of rotating mechanical equipment using a combination of materials science and data science. The technology models and simulates components and full systems under real-life operating conditions to predict life in three dimensions in time – Now (0-12 months) mid-term (1-3 years) and the long term (5+ years) for the electrification and transportation markets. Operators optimize their maintenance cycles and lower the pre-and post-installation costs of “rotating” systems through life extension actions. Equipment manufacturers use the software for design tradeoff and sensitivity analysis and to prove their life claims to accelerate the sales within DigitalClone Platform. Sentient Science has received the 2014 Tibbets Award at the White House, Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneers Award in 2016 and Excellence in Wind Prognostics by Frost & Sullivan in 2017.


Jill Szpylman
Director, Public Relations & Investor Relations
+1 (716) 572-1549