Hunt Valve to produce first additively manufactured valve assembly for US Navy submarines

April 9, 2024

Hunt Valve will produce additively manufactured valve assemblies for installation on US Navy submarines (Courtesy Fairbanks Morse Defense)
Hunt Valve will produce additively manufactured valve assemblies for installation on US Navy submarines (Courtesy Fairbanks Morse Defense)

Hunt Valve, a Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD) company based in Salem, Ohio, USA, has been awarded a contract by the Maritime Sustainment Technology and Innovation Consortium (MSTIC) to produce an additively manufactured valve assembly for installation on US Navy submarines.

Using Additive Manufacturing to create to 32 kg valve assembly – reportedly the first AM assembly to be installed on a US submarine – will provide the US Navy with a product that meets or exceeds the quality produced through traditional sand-casting in about two-thirds less time.

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“The utilisation of Additive Manufacturing assembly with copper-nickel for large valve production is a real step forward for our industry,” said Andrew Pfister, Vice President – Aftermarket and Product Development at Fairbanks Morse Defense. “Not only does it create a superior product in terms of quality, but the process can significantly reduce lead-in times.”

Hunt Valve’s contract with MSTIC allows the additively manufactured valve to be installed on any US submarine class. The use of Additive Manufacturing is expected to speed up the production of components for the US Navy fleet by up to 75%. This makes the process an attractive option for increasing production efficiency and gaining greater control over the defence industrial base supply chain.

“Innovative technologies such as Additive Manufacturing are essential for building the submarine industrial base to overcome supply chain challenges,” Pfister added. “By scaling Additive Manufacturing, we can reduce shipping from other parts of the world and increase the speed of production at home – which positively impacts the Navy’s overall strategic goal to deliver a 300+ fleet.”

The valve assemblies for this contract are being developed by Hunt Valve in collaboration with Lincoln Electric, which additively manufactured the valve body. Once manufactured, the valve body is delivered to Hunt Valve to manufacture the remaining components using the standard manufacturing method and then assemble all the parts to create the full valve assembly.

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