Meld awarded $1.5M from US Navy for metal AM and legacy repairs

March 12, 2021

The MELD solid-state Additive Manufacturing process was chosen by the National Shipbuilding Research Program to reduce the lead times and efficiency of large steel castings like this ship stem bar (Courtesy Meld)

Developer and provider of metal Additive Manufacturing machines, Meld Manufacturing Corporation, Christiansburg, Virginia, USA, has been awarded a $1.5 million contract from the United States Navy following the successful demonstration of its Meld AM process. The current contract will build upon naval investments, including those by the National Shipbuilding Research Program for ‘Scaling Up 3D Printed Steel Castings’.

The programme will support the development of qualification data for parts manufactured by Meld, guiding naval use of the company’s equipment. The contract includes the purchase of a Meld L3 model, planned to be housed in the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia. The programme is intended to further the Navy’s support of critical operations by delivering instructions for repair and manufacturing of naval metal parts on-site at the shipyard.

“We’ve received requests for a number of parts in a wide range of metal alloys from the Navy and shipbuilders that are not able to be printed with any other technology,” stated Dr Chase Cox, Director of Technology. “The range of need expressed to us really highlights the value of a Meld machine, because unlike other metal printers, Meld can print metals the Navy truly needs at a size that is not otherwise possible.”

The programme will repair legacy and obsolete parts, as well as additively manufacture new parts critical to the modernisation of the Navy’s fleet, where both repair and manufacture will help to overcome long lead times for forged and cast products. The L3 machine will provide flexibility to use multiple materials whilst preserving the ability to create and repair parts with newly-designed alloys.

“Meld solves the global problem of long lead times for forged and cast metal products and provides large scale components in all metals,” commented CEO Nanci Hardwick.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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