AML3D and Lightforce extend titanium AM body armour trials

August 23, 2021

AML3D and Lightforce have extended Stage 2 trials for their titanium additively manufactured body armour prototypes. AML3D’s WAM technology is being used to produce the body armour (Courtesy AML3D)

AML3D Limited, Edinburgh, Australia, has reported the extension of Stage 2 trials for the development of next-generation ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour prototypes with Lightforce Australia Pty Ltd, a developer and manufacturer of defence solutions. Results of the first phase of the Stage 2 testing identified additional opportunities across the ballistics range and testing plate parameters, leading the initial testing phase to be expanded to accommodate this broader range.

AML3D’s Wire Arc Manufacturing (WAM®), a Directed Energy Deposition (DED) process, has been used to additively manufacture the titanium body armour prototypes with significantly lower emissions and less waste than traditional manufacturing techniques such as forging or casting. Once the full range of detailed testing is completed and assessed, Lightforce will be focussed on the commercialisation and business opportunities for the product range.

The global armour market is reportedly demanding customisable ‘made-to-fit’ solutions, whereby the torso of a soldier is scanned and the armour then produced for that soldier’s specific requirements. The companies expect their offering to be a disruptor in an industry that is forecast to exceed more than US$3.5 billion by 2028.

AML3D states that once it has completed the additional titanium body armour test plates, they will undergo the same rigorous repeatability testing under various conditions and will be assessed on their ballistic performance. Production and testing are expected to be completed by Q3 2022.

Andrew Sales, Managing Director of AML3D, commented, “The global body armour market is massive and growing, so it is important that we cement a foothold in this market. It is a real credit to our team that their work on the early-stage prototypes of next-generation ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour has resulted in AML3D moving to the next stage of manufacturing and testing with Lightforce.”

“We have the in-house capability and capacity to take on the commercialisation of ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour, and are confident that the quality of our prototypes in this next round of manufacturing and testing will deliver further successful results. This latest development follows a strong year for AML3D as we move from early-stage development of our business model to a company with sustainable and material revenue growth.”

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