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Armed for Repair

New Cold Spray additive manufacturing uses alloys, high-hard steel repair


When you're making decisions for the most technologically advanced military in the world, "old vs. new" allegiances are trivial. U.S. Army researchers are taking all avenues to repair things efficiently, especially as the amount of war material being sent to Europe grows.

Over 20 participants from across the Department of Defense, private industry and academia gathered at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., Feb. 9 for a demonstration of the latest applications of cold spray technology, Dorie Heyer for the U.S. Army reported.

Participants from across the Department of Defense, private industry and academia gather at Letterkenny Army Depot (Chambersburg, Pa.) Feb. 9 for a demonstration of the latest applications of cold spray technology.—U.S. Army photo


LEAD integrated cold spray to mitigate corrosion on Army systems in the past year, and engineers are looking to leverage the technology further. “Cold spray is an additive manufacturing technology that we’re using to repair parts,” Ashley Filling, a production engineer at LEAD, told Heyer. “Unlike other additive manufacturing technologies that are used to make parts, cold spray is used to repair many different materials. We’re focusing on several aluminum alloys and a high-hard steel repair.”


Although cold spray has existed for over 20 years, new advancements and creative problem-solving offer cost and time savings to the depot. Utilizing cold spray repairs on a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System roof saved LEAD over 12 months in repair time and over $750,000 in cost savings.


“Cold spray isn’t a kind of pie-in-the-sky idea. It’s actually something which is being used readily in the DOD,” said Michael Nicholas, Northeast additive manufacturing lead, Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

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