Materials

Warhead Life-Extension Program Passes Key Milestone

The program to extend the life of the W80 nuclear warhead recently achieved a significant milestone when the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gave passing grades to the plans to refurbish certain components and the proposed approach to developing component cost estimates. Passing the milestone confirms that the life extension program (LEP), dubbed the W80-4 LEP, remains on track. The refurbished warhead will be paired with a new cruise missile that is being developed in parallel by the U.S. Air Force, making this the first life extended warhead to be implemented in a new delivery system since the start of the Stockpile Stewardship Program more than 25 years ago.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the lead nuclear design agency, partnered with Sandia National Laboratories, which is the lead non-nuclear design agency. The work being carried out is driven by military requirements to pair the warhead with the new delivery system and improve weapon safety, security and operational logistics and maintain effectiveness without the need for additional explosive nuclear tests. First production of the W80-4 is planned for 2025.

Posted in: News, Defense, Materials, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Researchers Push Limits in High-Temp, Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate are “turning up the heat” in the field of polymer additive manufacturing. In conjunction with researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and the University of Louisville, the team successfully printed the highest-temperature capable, reinforced polymer composite parts using additive manufacturing. Consisting of a high temperature thermoset resin infused with carbon fiber filaments, this state-of-the art material breakthrough sets the stage for next generation, cost-efficient Air Force manufacturing needs.

“This is an extremely impactful breakthrough in composite material additive manufacturing,” said Dr. Hilmar Koerner, a scientist on the Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Processing Research Team and the driving force behind the novel discovery. “These 3-D printed parts can withstand temperatures greater than 300 degrees Celsius, making them potentially useful for turbine engine replacement parts or in hot areas around engine exhaust.”

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Composites, Materials, Plastics
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Superstrong Al Alloys May Change Aerospace Manufacturing Processes

Purdue University researchers have developed a superstrong material that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries.

The Purdue team, led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, created high-strength aluminum alloy coatings. According to Zhang, there is an increasing demand for such materials because of their advantages for automakers and aerospace industries.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Metals
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Meeting Environmental Objectives and Regulations

Gone are the days when the impact of products on the environment or human health were optional business concerns. Regulatory constraints on materials and chemicals are increasing, and many companies struggle to respond – and to do so quickly and efficiently. Restrictions on hexavalent chrome are one well-known example. Another is REACH – the European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals – which applies to products that are either manufactured in, or imported into, the EU. Companies are under obligations to report the use of restricted substances, and to limit or avoid their use.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Government, Environmental Monitoring, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Data Acquisition, Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
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Improving Component Life in Abrasive, Corrosive Aerospace Environments

In industries such as aerospace, characterized by extreme operating environments that push materials and components to the edge of their design capabilities, companies are challenged to continually seek economically viable ways to maintain and improve performance.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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Taming the Thermal Behavior of Solid-State Military Lasers

Laser diodes and laser diode arrays (LDAs) are widely used throughout military systems, for sighting and range finding, but also at high power levels as offensive and defensive weapons. In companion with much higher-power chemical lasers, these high-power optical sources can generate kilowatts of optical power (as arrays) for use in neutralizing incoming missiles, rockets, and armaments and for long-distance offensive strikes. But laser diodes are also still inefficient, and a great deal of the energy supplied to a laser diode or an LDA is converted into heat, which must be safely dissipated to ensure a long operating lifetime for the solid-state devices.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Thermal Management, Ceramics, Materials, Metals, Packaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs
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How Additive Manufacturing is Changing the Aerospace Industry

Additive manufacturing was invented more than 30 years ago and, from small beginnings in prototyping, has developed and grown into a $6 billion industry. While additive manufacturing for aerospace and defense has seen slower adoption than some other industries, the velocity is now visibly increasing. This has been enabled by the ongoing development of additive technologies that apply more increasingly to aerospace and defense -namely better plastics materials, faster 3D printing technologies, focused development of metals materials, and resulting technologies and processes that are increasingly easier to get qualified.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals
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Adaptive Materials Could Help Protect Rotorcraft

Engineers developed a technique that causes a composite material to become stiffer and stronger on-demand when exposed to ultraviolet light. This on-demand control of composite behavior could enable a variety of new capabilities for future Army rotorcraft design, performance, and maintenance.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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New Products: May 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Rapid Deployment SIGINT Sensor

VStar Systems (San Diego, CA) announced the addition of a pod version of its MA-C SIGINT Sensor, the MA-C MiniPod™. Two active high frequency (HF) antennas allow for intercept and copy of land mobile radios from both direct Line of Sight (LOS) as well as Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) signals for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communication methods. The MA-C MiniPOD can be installed on most standard airborne racks/missile launchers for integration on a wide variety of platforms.

Posted in: Products, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Composites, Materials, Robotics, Sensors, Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Robotic Paint Removal System

Air Force Research Laboratory
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
+1 937-255-0017
www.wpafb.af.mil

AFRL Materials Integrity engineers recently played a key role in enabling the safer and more efficient removal of paint from F-16 aircraft through the newly-adopted Robotic Laser Coating Removal System.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense, Thermal Management, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Lasers & Laser Systems, Robotics
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