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Thermoplastic forming of metallic glasses


RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): General Warfighting Requirements (GWR) TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Develop thermoplastic forming of metal components for military applications in aeronautical and space platforms. DESCRIPTION: The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is looking for a domestic capability to manufacture metallic components rapidly and affordably with complex shapes for air and space platforms. Manufacturing such parts currently requires many steps, including forming, machining, and joining, that dramatically increase cost and delivery times, negatively impacting the logistic supply chain. Metallic glasses are a class of alloys with exceptional strength and hardness, and they are the only metallic materials that can be processed by thermoplastic methods such as injection molding and blow molding. These methods allow parts to be manufactured in seconds rather than days or weeks, and complex shapes are produced in a single step. Initial work will identify candidate components that will benefit most from reduced manufacturing time and cost. R&D tasks include developing and demonstrating component design, die design and heating methods to manage the thermal budget specified by the metallic glass alloy being used. These efforts will be demonstrated on impactful applications in military air and space platforms. Applications that improve space access, mobility or logistics are especially desired. The processes developed should be scalable to commercially significant production rates. PHASE I: The research and development goals of Phase I are to provide eligible Small Business firms the opportunity to successfully demonstrate the viability of manufacturing complex metallic aircraft and spacecraft components using thermoplastic forming methods such as blow forming and injection molding. The vendor will identify and prioritize candidate components, considering impact to mission capabilities and logistic concerns such as cost and production time. The main effort will be to conduct preliminary studies to propose details of manufacture, showing feasibility and benefit to the USAF or USSF. A plan to demonstrate the thermoplastic manufacture of metallic parts and address implementation approaches for near term insertion into Department of Defense (DoD) systems, subsystems, components, or parts will be included in the Phase I effort. Relationships with potential customers and systems integrators will be established to aid in component identification, guide design efforts, and support the impact and insertion analyses. The deliverables for this project will include a final report describing the results from these analyses. Phase I – 6 Months $100K Phase II – 24 Months $1.6M PHASE II: Based on the results of PHASE I, the research and development goals of PHASE II will demonstrate commercial viability by successfully producing target metallic components via thermoplastic processing. Tasks to be accomplished include component design, die design, development of design tools to manage the unique thermal budget provided by the selected metallic glass alloy, and design and production of heating systems. These tools will be used to produce the target components. Sufficient validation trials will be conducted to support analyses of manufacturing at commercial scale, including cost, cycle time and commercial benefit of the innovation. Remaining technical gaps will be identified. Manufactured components shall be used for component level testing. Innovative processes should be developed with the intent to readily transition to production in support of DoD needs. A partnership with a current or potential DoD supplier, OEM, or another suitable partner is highly desirable. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III is any proposal that “Derives From”, “Extends” or Completes a transition from a Phase I or II project. Phase III proposals will be accepted after the completion of Phase I and or Phase II projects. There is no specific funding is associated with Phase III, except Phase III is not allowed to use SBIR/STTR coded funding. Any other type funding is allowed. Phase III proposal Submission. Phase III proposals are emailed directly to DLA The PMO team will set up evaluations and coordinate the funding and contracting actions depending on the outcome of the evaluations. A Phase III proposal should follow the same format as Phase II for the content, and format. There are, however, no limitations to the amount of funding requested, or the period of performance. All other guidelines apply. COMMERCIALIZATION: The vendor will pursue commercialization of the thermoplastic forming of metallic glasses developed in prior phases, as well as potential commercial sales of any parts or other items. REFERENCES: 1. 2. 3. E. Pekarskaya and J Schroers, Development of Bulk Metallic Glass Components for Spacecraft Applications Using Thermoplastic Forming, AFRL-RX-WP-TR-2018-0262,
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