GIS awarded $700K from the REMADE Institute to advance the circular economy

A team of researchers from the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was selected for a $700K award from the REMADE Institute. The award will fund research to develop remanufacturing methods for high-value, surface-hardened steel components. It was one of 24 projects that were announced on March 1, 2021, by the institute. Awarded projects have a high potential for reducing energy consumption and decreasing emissions while increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.

The project, “Remanufacturing of Surface-Hardened Steel Components by Ultrasonic Surface Modification,” is a collaboration between RIT, Caterpillar Inc., and the University of Pittsburgh to reduce unnecessary primary material consumption and emissions associated with discarded and scrapped metal products. End-of-life surface-hardened steel products are often scrapped because current repair technologies cannot reliably address degradation of the surface properties caused by operational wear and fatigue, or even of the repair process itself. The group’s goal is to improve remanufacturing of these scrapped components by developing repair processes that restore their desired surface properties. 

New technologies have immense potential when it comes to accelerating the transition to the circular economy and creating positive economic, environmental, and societal impacts. The project is one of many underway at GIS that are helping manufacturers and the U.S. government be more intentional about how products are made to achieve a longer lifespan, use fewer resources, and generate less waste.

The project’s principal investigators (PIs) are Peter Martin and Mark Walluk. Kristin Sisak, Brandon Baker, Dominic Maiola, and Kyle DePalma are additional team members. Their total budget is $1.4 million over two years and work is scheduled to begin this summer.

Recommended News