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Additive Manufacturing to Restore/Reclaim/Reutilize High Value Aviation Assets

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OBJECTIVE / SOLUTION

The Army currently holds over $220M of non-conforming high-value helicopter components at Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD). Long replacement acquisition lead times and new part replacement costs negatively impact O&S costs and operational readiness. This effort will provide advanced additive manufacturing technologies capable of repairing and returning to service some of those high value aviation assets that cannot be currently repaired or reclaimed using traditional processes.

Achievements

• Successfully demonstrated Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) Repair on initial part — T700-GE-701D Compressor Discharge Piston (CDP) Seal (knife edge seal repair)
• Selection of additional candidate parts for the T-700 and T-55 Engines
• Established agreements with Benét Laboratories and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to support analysis and inspection initiatives
• Next steps: post-repair of CDP Seal at CCAD, processing of second candidate part — T700-GE-701D Gas Generator Shaft

Benefits

• Reduce CCAD Storage, Analysis, Failure, Evaluation and Reclamation (SAFR) inventory of repairable parts
• Repair/recover parts for less than new part cost (long term goal ~75% cost reduction)
• Significantly reduce acquisition lead time (~ 1yr for new parts/6wks for repaired part)
• Establish validated procedures for high value aviation components
• Benefits all Army Aviation rotary platforms and cross-service components

Transition and Weapon Systems / Secondary Items Impacted

• Current parts selected are used by SH-60, AH-1W, UH-1N, UH-60, AH-64, and CH-47. Other platforms will follow as new parts/processes/sources are identified.

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