Oct 12, 2018 | By Thomas

US Navy has approved the first 3D printed metal component to be used onboard an aircraft carrier, the Naval Sea Systems Command announced in a press release on Thursday.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducts flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Chen/Released)

"A prototype drain strainer orifice (DSO) assembly will be installed on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) in fiscal year 2019 for a one-year test and evaluation trial," the statement said. "The DSO assembly is a steam system component that permits drainage/removal of water from a steam line while in use."

Huntington Ingalls Industries, which builds Navy aircraft carriers, proposed the prototype to be installed on a US Navy ship for test and evaluation.

“This install marks a significant advancement in the Navy’s ability to make parts on demand and combine NAVSEA’s strategic goal of on-time delivery of ships and submarines while maintaining a culture of affordability,” said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, NAVSEA chief engineer and deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering. “By targeting CVN-75 [USS Harry S. Truman], this allows us to get test results faster, so—if successful—we can identify additional uses of additive manufacturing for the fleet.”

The test articles passed functional and environmental testing, which included material, welding, shock, vibration, hydrostatic and operational steam, and will continue to be evaluated while installed within a low temperature and low pressure saturated steam system. After one year, the prototype assembly will be removed for analysis and inspection.

The US Navy has been using additive manufacturing technology for several years, making parts on site to cut costs and speed availability of spare parts. However, the 3D printing of a metal product for use in a Navy ship system is a newer concept and requires significant research and testing before it can be certified for fleet-wide use. Final requirements are still under review.

“Specifications will establish a path for NAVSEA and industry to follow when designing, manufacturing and installing AM components shipboard and will streamline the approval process,” said Dr. Justin Rettaliata, technical warrant holder for additive manufacturing.  “NAVSEA has several efforts underway to develop specifications and standards for more commonly used additive manufacturing processes.”

Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the US Navy's five systems commands. NAVSEA consists of four shipyards, nine "warfare centers", four major shipbuilding locations. It's primary objective is to engineer, build and maintain the Navy’s ships, submarines and combat systems to meet the fleet's current and future operational requirements. NAVSEA accounts for one quarter of the Navy's entire budget, with more than 150 acquisition programs under its oversight.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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