Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division and 3D Systems have partnered to create Nickel-Copper and Copper-Nickel alloys that could support additive manufacturing of metal components for marine applications.
Dave Bolcar, vice president of engineering and design for Newport News Shipbuilding, said in a statement published Thursday the partnership will work to develop parameters for expanded use of 3D printing to enhance fleet performance, quality and production schedule.
The initiative includes designing process parameter experiments, selecting alloy compositions and determining applicable parts through material and tensile tests. 3D printing will use the powder bed fusion process.
Newport News plans to use the new alloys to yield replacement castings and other parts such as brackets and valves.
According to 3D Systems, the two alloys can resist corrosion and are durable under varying weather scenarios. To date, the alloys can only be manufactured via traditional processes that can take more than a year.
The partnership builds on the two companies' history of working together. In 2018, they inked a joint development agreement to validate metal additive printing technologies for naval warship parts.