The US Office of Naval Research has awarded research and development non-profit Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) a contract to improve the quality of metallic parts made using additive manufacturing (AM).

The Office has award an initial US$2.6 million and CTC also anticipates a two-year option for US$3.8 million that will further demonstrate AM. 

According to the U.S. Navy, 3D printing could help cut back on the time and costs associated with deploying qualified, certified AM metallic components for Naval air, sea, and ground platforms.

‘In a February 2017 statement, the vice chiefs of America's armed forces said their personnel and aging equipment are stretched thin amid years of war, statutory budget caps and temporary workarounds, end-strength cuts, and Congress passing continuing resolutions,’ said Edward J Sheehan, Jr, CTC president and CEO.’ In response to this need, Concurrent Technologies Corporation and its integrated project team members are providing new technology that can address the short- and long-term challenge of replacing aging or broken parts literally on site.’

‘Aging Naval platforms are being challenged by dwindling traditional sources of supply, which reduces readiness and causes unacceptable logistical delays,’ said the Office of Naval Research. ‘In response to this need, the Naval Warfare Centers, maintenance depots, and FRCs plan to use additive manufacturing to produce small quantities of out-of-production or long lead-time metallic components.’

Reduced cost

According to Ken Sabo, CTC senior director, the project team will develop and demonstrate AM software and hardware technologies that could support the rapid qualification of critical metallic components at a reduced cost.

‘Microstructure-property evolution and its in-process control are not well established for additive manufacturing of metallic parts compared to traditional metal processing,’ Sabo said. ‘Our goal is to address these gaps and ensure that parts produced throughout the US Navy consistently perform as intended. The team will produce metal parts using laser powder-bed fusion to develop and validate a proposed framework.’

Team members will include Concurrent Technologies Corporation, SLM Solutions NA, MSC Software, MRL Materials Resources LLC, the University of Pittsburgh, and America Makes. This material is based upon work supported by the Office of Naval Research under Contract No. N00014-18-C-2004.

This story uses material from CTCwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.