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Additive Manufacturing & Repair of 7075 Aluminum for Weapon Systems

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced 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(ies) 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 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 and demonstrate structural repair of 7075 parts using AM processes.  Provide recommendations on material and processes used to achieve structural repairs.  Provide test results for tensile strength of repaired test coupons.

 

DESCRIPTION: High strength aluminum is used in aircraft and air warfighting components throughout the Air Force Inventory.  AL 7075 T6 is used to combine high strength and lightweight material.  EBW specifically uses AL 7075 T6 in construction of Launcher Rail Bodies. Some of these parts, which have a life limiting wear condition, are prohibitively expensive to manufacture new but could be repaired and put back into service.  The Air Force currently spends $2M per year on the manufacture of new rail bodies to replace ones that could be repaired.  Also, the use of this technology could be used to support aircraft sustainment, possibly saving 100s of millions.  Many new technologies are currently being developed in the world of AM for printing high strength aluminum alloys.  This SBIR would focus on testing the strength that would be achieved from a repair, where the new technology and materials are used with preexisting 7075 T6 Al.

 

PHASE I: Develop high strength alloy aluminum that can be used in Additive Manufacturing and Repair.

 

PHASE II: Development of repair process and testing of repairs with the AM high strength alloy aluminum to demonstrate that it can attain at least 70% strength of original 7075 tensile strength.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Repair capabilities for 7075 could be used by every military branch and manufacturer that maintains aircraft.  All aircraft use AL 7075 components.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Jones A.C, Rhys & Cizek, Jan & Kovářík, Ondřej & Lang, Jeff & Ang, Andrew & Michopoulos, John. (2021). Characterising crack growth in Scalmalloy”. Procedia Structural Integrity. 34. 39-44. 10.1016/j.prostr.2021.12.006.;

 

KEYWORDS: Additive manufacturing, repair, aluminum

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