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Integrated In-process Strategy for Material and Process Specification Optimization

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8117-14-C-0021
Agency Tracking Number: F141-208-1258
Amount: $149,869.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF141-208
Solicitation Number: 2014.1
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-10-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-04-25
Small Business Information
NY, Stony Brook, NY, 11790-3350
DUNS: 830864448
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Travis Wentz
 Senior Engineer
 (631) 739-8818
Business Contact
 Wanhuk Choi
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (631) 739-8818
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The thermal spray process has many inherent complexities within each sub-process including feedstock manufacturing, component surface preparation and masking, torch parameter selection, robot trajectory and laboratory coating evaluation. Each sub-process is governed by rigid specifications that provide thermal spray applicators with procedural and process guidelines throughout the application. Current aerospace thermal spray specifications are not adequate to capture many nuances in feedstock procurement and process management. This allows non-optimal, yet conforming materials and processes to be used during overhaul and repair yielding unsatisfactory outcomes in some instances especially in cost and productivity. ReliaCoat Technologies, a small business specializing in advanced thermal spray concepts, will perform a detailed analysis of present coating specifications to determine the most critical areas of the process which are prone to variability in spite of operating within specifications. ReliaCoat"s strategy aims to improve these specifications from within: i.e. operate the materials and processes within the scope of the specifications but introduce robustness through in-process gates and appropriate knowledge management tools to shrink variability and tighten distribution. This will allow cognizant engineers to benefit from the outcome without moving away from decades of experience base, while process engineers will be able to use tools to improve productivity. BENEFIT: The benefits anticipated by investigating and implementing modified coating specifications include the following; reduction of laboratory test frequency, reduction of time required for qualification by minimizing process variability, increasing throughput of parts coated and minimizing the amount of rework, together providing higher productivity and enabling high velocity maintenance scenarios. The in-process gates will provide a deeper insight into thermal spray processing, enhancing the operator"s understanding of process variables. ReliaCoat is aiming to provide integrated process management solutions to the thermal spray industry via expert knowledge in materials science and process engineering into ruggedized yet readily adaptable industrial tools with user friendly software.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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