Exploration of Novel Technologies to Reduce Lifecycle Maintenance Costs – Phase III

NCMS Project #: 142186

Problem: When a part breaks, chips, or corrodes, end-product performance can degrade and cause significant maintenance and sustainment issues.  The choices for operators and maintainers are typically to repair the affected part or fully replace it.  Depending on the importance of the part to the safety and operation of the end product, full part replacement has been the predominant choice due to the lack of innovative technology solutions for repair.  Recent advances in commercial cold spray technologies and processes have shown to be very effective at protecting parts from corrosion and repairing damaged parts.  However, it is challenging to apply these coatings to parts of intricate or complex geometry or to the inside of cylindrical bores.

Benefit: The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to commercial industry in how new materials and processes can be used to better protect the environment while protecting complex machinery and parts from damage.  This will reduce necessary maintenance, increase safety of the maintainers, and increase the lifespan of the parts.

Solution/Approach: The overall intent of this initiative is to continue to develop the advanced manufacturing process and capability to apply a high temperature, wear resistant cold spray coating to the inner diameter of large caliber tubes and machine that coating to blueprint geometry and specifications using waterjet milling.  Phase III will focus on hardware and process improvements for cold spray technology that was previously piloted on a prototype system to yield more reliable, consistent, and repeatable cold spray outcomes.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Enhance readiness of weapons systems 
  • Reduce repair time and equipment downtime 
  • Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Lessen rate and amount of corrosion

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) – Army Research Laboratory (ARL) 
  • U.S. Army DEVCOM Armaments Center – Benet Laboratories and Watervliet Arsenal 
  • Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) 
  • Project Manager Main Battle Tank Systems (PM MBTS) 
  • Project Manager Self Propelled Howitzer Systems (PM SPHS) 
  • Product Manager Extended Range Cannon Artillery PdM (ERCA) 

Industry Participation:

  • Solvus Global
  • VRC Metal Systems
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Safety
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Survivability
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Advanced/additive manufacturing

Final Report