Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

WPI Receives $25 Million Award for Cold Spray 3D Printing Techniques

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has just recently received a $25 million award “to bring cold spray 3D printing techniques to the battlefield.”

This funding from the US Army “will support advanced work on cold spray. This portable repair and manufacturing technique could increase the readiness of military vehicles and other units.”

This three-year, $25 million award from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory (CCDC-ARL) will “advance a 3D printing technique which could be used to repair vehicles and other critical technology in the field, avoiding the sometimes-extensive wait for new parts and increasing the readiness of military units.”

This technique is known as cold spray, “which can be used to repair metal parts or even make new parts from scratch by building up metal layer by layer…cold spray uses a pressurized gas to accelerate metal powders to near supersonic speeds. The force of impact causes the powders to adhere to the metal upon impact. There is no need to first melt the powders. The process can be reduced to a portable handheld applicator, which makes it attractive for use in the field.”

Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of WPI’s Center for Materials Processing Data Danielle Cote explains: “the Army is interested in cold spray 3D printing as a repair technique. It’s cheaper to repair a part than to replace it, and you get the equipment back in service faster. The Army’s primary interest is unit readiness. If you’re on a mission and need to move quickly to a safer place, and a critical part on your vehicle breaks, you’re stuck unless you can repair it quickly. This is where cold spray comes in.”

Cote concludes: “I think there is much potential for this technique. With the work we will be doing with powder development, in robotics, and in a number of other areas, I think we are going to go a long way with cold spray. There really are endless possibilities.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Share Button