Materials

Recycled Water Bottles Could Help Avoid Military Supply Snags

Soldiers on the battlefield or at remote bases often have to wait weeks for vital replacement parts. Now scientists report they have found a way to fabricate many of these parts within hours under combat conditions using water bottles, cardboard and other recyclable materials found on base as starting materials for 3D printing. They say this ‘game-changing’ advance could improve operational readiness, reduce dependence on outside supply chains, and enhance safety.

“Ideally, soldiers wouldn’t have to wait for the next supply truck to receive vital equipment,” Nicole Zander, Ph.D., says. “Instead, they could basically go into the cafeteria, gather discarded water bottles, milk jugs, cardboard boxes and other recyclable items, then use those materials as feedstocks for 3D printers to make tools, parts and other gadgets.”

Posted in: News, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Materials, Plastics
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Combating Infrared Threats on the Battlefield

There have been several news headlines lately about offenders pointing commercial lasers at helicopters or police personnel, temporarily blinding and distracting them. An increasing number of “laser assault” incidents have led to tougher penalties with fines and jail time in various countries. The lasers typically used in these attacks operate in the visible light spectrum; therefore, these lasers can be blocked by special absorbing optical dyes contained in special laser defense eyewear.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Sensors
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Using Thermoplastics in Aerospace Applications

In August 2017, Qantas Airlines laid down the challenge to both Boeing and Airbus to offer an aircraft that can cross one of aviation's “last frontiers.” That “last frontier” was an aircraft capable of flying an economical passenger load non-stop for over 20 hours. This would allow Qantas to offer direct service from Sydney to London or New York. Weight reduction through the use of thermoplastics and other technologies would be the key to any chance of success in this endeavor.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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3D Printed Spacecraft Parts

Stratasys Ltd.
Eden Prairie, MN
952-937-3000
www.stratasys.com/aerospace
Phoenix Analysis and Design
Technologies (PADT) Tempe, AZ
1-800-293-PADT
www.padtinc.com

Stratasys Ltd., a company that specializes in applied additive technology solutions, and Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) have teamed up with Lockheed Martin Space to deliver next-generation 3D printed parts for NASA's Orion deep-space spacecraft. Key to the project are Stratasys advanced materials – including an ESD variant of the new Antero™ 800NA, a PEKK-based thermoplastic offering high performance mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Thermal Management, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Plastics
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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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