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Cerium-Aluminum (Ce-Al) alloys for military casting:

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials

OBJECTIVE: The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) seeks to provide responsive, best value supplies consistently to our customers.DLA continually investigates diverse technologies for manufacturing which would lead to the highest level of innovation in the discrete-parts support of fielded weapon systems (many of which were designed in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s) with a future impact on both commercial technology and government applications.As such, advanced technology demonstrations for affordability and advanced industrial practices to demonstrate the combination of improved discrete-parts manufacturing and improved business methods are of interest.All these areas of manufacturing technologies provide potential avenues toward achieving breakthrough advances.Proposed efforts funded under this topic may encompass any specific discrete-parts or materials manufacturing or processing technology at any level resulting in a unit cost reduction.Research and Development efforts selected under this topic shall demonstrate and involve a degree of risk where the technical feasibility of the proposed work has not been fully established.Further, proposed efforts must be judged to be at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or less, but greater than TRL 3 to receive funding consideration.TRL 3.(Analytical and Experimental Critical Function and/or Characteristic Proof of Concept) TRL 6.(System/Subsystem Model or Prototype Demonstration in a Relevant Environment)

DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense (DoD) is interested in implementing advanced Cerium-Aluminum alloy castings in defense applications.Cerium-Aluminum (Ce-Al) alloys are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and exceptionally stable at high temperatures.Additionally, Ce-Al show potential for casting near net shapes without the need for costly heat treatment.For Phase I, DoD is seeking a small metallurgical or foundry company to work with an existing DoD contractor of their choosing to redesign and demonstrate a Cr-Al casting as a substitute for traditional aluminum or magnesium alloy castings.The potential phase II effort would be to qualify the demonstrated Ce-Al component into a defense system.DoD requires that the source of cerium for this project be mined from a National Technology and Industrial Base (NTIB) source.The NTIB is defined by U.S. law under 10 U.S.C. 2500 as the persons and organizations that are engaged in research, development, production, integration, services, or information technology activities conducted within the United States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia, and Canada.

PHASE I: Phase I – 6 Months $100KDetermine, insofar as possible, the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of the concept.Include a plan to demonstrate the innovative discrete-parts manufacturing process and address implementation approaches for near term insertion into the manufacture of Department of Defense (DoD) systems, subsystems, components, or parts.

PHASE II: Phase II – 24 Months $1.6MDevelop applicable and feasible process demonstration for the approach described, and demonstrate a degree of commercial viability.Validate the feasibility of the innovative process by demonstrating its use in the production, testing, and integration of items for DLA.Validation would include, but not be limited to, prototype quantities, data analysis, laboratory tests, system simulations, operation in test-beds, or operation in a demonstration system.A partnership with a current or potential supplier to DLA, OEM, or other suitable partner is highly desirable.Identify commercial benefit or application opportunities of the innovation.Innovative processes should be developed with the intent to readily transition to production in support of DLA and its supply chains.

PHASE III: Technology transition via successful demonstration of a new process technology.This demonstration should show near-term application to one or more Department of Defense systems, subsystems, or components.This demonstration should also verify the potential for enhancement of quality, reliability, performance and/or reduction of unit cost or total ownership cost of the proposed subject.Private Sector Commercial Potential: Material manufacturing improvements, including development of domestic manufacturing capabilities, have a direct applicability to all defense system technologies.Material manufacturing technologies, processes, and systems have wide applicability to the defense industry including air, ground, sea, and weapons technologies.Competitive material manufacturing improvements should have leverage into private sector industries as well as civilian sector relevance.Many of the technologies under this topic would be directly applicable to other DoD agencies, NASA, and any commercial manufacturing venue.Advanced technologies for material manufacturing would directly improve production in the commercial sector resulting in reduced cost and improved productivity.

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References:

1. https://www.intechopen.com/books/aluminium-alloys-and-composites/composites-and-alloys-based-on-the-al-ce-system 2. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2017/MH/C7MH00391A#!divAbstract  

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