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Recycling and Reuse of Powders, Test Specimens, and Scrap Materials in Additive Manufacturing


RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Nuclear, and General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)


OBJECTIVE: The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) seeks technologies and processes in Additive Manufacturing (AM) to enhance recycling and reuse of powders, test specimens, and scrap materials to produce additional material feedstock domestically.  All the areas of recycling and manufacturing technologies provide potential avenues toward achieving breakthrough advances. Proposed efforts funded under this topic may encompass any specific discrete-parts or materials recycling, manufacturing, or processing technology at any level resulting in a unit cost reduction, availability of feedstock material, and reduced environmental impact from the manufacturing of products.

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 DLA Research & Development (R&D) is looking to develop the capability to recycle and recover AM powder, test specimens, and scrap materials produced during the part manufactruing process throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) facilities and domestic manufacturers. As AM continues to mature and the demand for AM powder increases, new innovative ways to collect and recycle scrap metal/powder into a useable AM grade powder as well as recycling AM powder not utilized in the build process are needed to reduce the production unit cost and secure feedstock supply.  The goal is to identify and recover AM powder, at a suitable purity level, suitable to be reused and in a form that it could be reintroduced into manufacturing at a later point in time. Developing an economically viable, environmentally friendly process for recycling of AM powders from the existing manufacturing process could facilitate the establishment of a viable, competitive domestic supply chain.  If this produces a viable reclamation methodology and sustainable process it may lead to follow-on efforts at the discretion of the US Government. The R&D tasks include identifying potential additional feedstock sources in the existing DoD supply chain and developing processes for AM recycling. The process should be amenable to the scale of operation required in AM manufacturing, and will improve the economics of AM powders from recovered material for reuse, rather than depend on costly foreign reliance.


PHASE I: NTE 12 Months $150K- Base NTE $100K base 6-9 Months, - Option 1 NTE $50K base 3-6 Months

PHASE II: – NTE 24 Months $1.6M - Base 12-18 months, $1M Option 6 Months NTE $.6M

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The phase one period of performance is not to exceed 12 months total.  Options are not automatic.  Approval is at the discretion of the DLA SBIP Program Manager.  The decision is based on Project Performance, Priorities of the Agency, and/or the availability of funding.

PHASE I: Determine, insofar as possible, the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of the concept.  Include a plan to demonstrate the innovative recycling process and address implementation approaches for near term insertion into the manufacture of Department of Defense (DoD) systems, subsystems, components, or parts.

PHASE II: Develop 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 and DoD.  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 DoD, 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 DoD and its supply chains.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: 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.


  1. EMERGENT III Research & Development Broad Agency Announcement (BAA0002-20)
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