November 13, 2019
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3-D printed steel forges new possibilities for Army

In the future Soldiers needing
replacement parts may turn to 3-D printers to rapidly deliver reliable and
ultra strong metal parts at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development
Command’s Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland,
materials manufacturing scientists say this technology may change everything. I
think it’s going to probably revolutionize logistics so we’re still a
long ways out from that but really additive manufacturing is gonna have a
huge impact on sustainment so you can really reduce your logistics footprint
so instead of worrying about carrying a whole truckload convoys loads of spares
as long as you have the materials the raw materials and a printer you can
potentially make anything you need army researchers are looking at new
technologies to create steel alloy parts from powder using a laser sample we’ve
done some stuff with our collaborators we were able to print parts with
internal structures that they would not necessarily be able to create with that
much dimensional accuracy where they use to try to mill or let me show you apart
the researchers are using an alloy originally developed by the U.S. Air Force,
the Army adapted the metal to powder form this material that we’ve we’ve just
printed and developed processing parameters for is probably about 50
percent stronger than anything commercially available for army
applications the key to usage is certification will the PARCC work is
needed in a battlefield scenario for instance we’ve printed some impeller
fans for the M1 Abrams turbine engine and we can deliver that part they can
use it it works that may be good enough and be able to get your tank running
again for you know hours or days if that’s important to the mission but on
the other hand we still need to be able to answer okay does this perform as good
as the OEM part does it perform better which is ultimately what we would like
to help mitigate the failures that we see in the first place the Air Force
initially developed this alloy for bunker-busting bombs they needed a metal
that was very high strength but it also needed to be economical the nice thing
about that for the Army is it has wide-ranging applications so we have
interests from the ground combat vehicle community so it can be used for
replacement parts a lot of our parts and ground vehicles now are steel so this
can be dropped in as a replacement not having to worry about but your
properties you know it’s gonna be better so the chance of it breaking are gonna
be lower than your previous part the laboratory is working closely with
industry and academic researchers to model new alloy designs perform
computational thermodynamics and expedite the process to get these
materials to Soldiers what does the next-generation alloy look like how do
we take the knowledge we learn from this steel and push it even further to get
even better materials

Tony wyaad



  1. Anita Mitchell Posted on February 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Powdered metal … amazing. Something to consider, I saw the slow-mo guys shoot a lego man and it didn't even scratch the lego material. That stuff is tough. If I had a lab I'd be experimenting with that as an option for making bullet proof parts. Just a thought.

  2. Z Malfoy Posted on March 4, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    That's pretty sweet!

  3. L R P Posted on September 26, 2019 at 10:55 am

    easy killing, congrats stupid human