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Manufacturing Technology for Advanced Nanocomposite Coatings

U.S. ARMY MANTECH

Objective/Solution

Develop a cost-effective Nano Coating manufacturing process to efficiently implement advanced nanocrystalline diamond and amorphous carbon coatings on performance-critical Army components. Accomplished through a specially developed manufacturing technique utilizing a plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) process that allows the application of carbon thin films on a wide range of substrates. Resulting in desired properties such as improved optical transmission and durability of infrared devices and increased surface hardness for improved corrosion resistance.

Achievements

• Fourth year efforts and achievements include:
   – Increased part throughput — from 14 day to 8 day process
   – Reduced rework
   – Advanced database development
   – Control software refinement
   – Enhanced part tracking
   – Construction and Validation of Prototype Production System 3
   – Addition of coating requirement on 40+ optomechanical device drawings
• Multiple new production orders for DoD component coatings
• Automated component clean line that reduces throughput time and improves part quality

Benefits

• Increased capacity through design and installation of large-scale manufacturing flexible deposition cells
• Decreased Nano coating process throughput time on existing and future production coating systems through rapid fixture/tooling machining, improved part preparation and in situ monitoring
• Realization of manufacturing efficiencies through reduced vacuum chamber pump down time, data management standardization and a dedicated etch/rework chamber
• Reduction in cost as a result of increased coating capacity, throughput and quality control

Transition and Weapon Systems / Secondary Items Impacted

• AH-64 Apache Pilot Night Vision System Turret Drive System
• Predator Optomechanical Coatings
• UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter Rotor Head Components
• CH-47 IR Optical Coatings
• P-8 Brake Actuator Components

POC: Army ManTech Manager, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Aviation Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), Manufacturing Science & Technology Division, ATTN: RDMR-SEM, 5400 Fowler Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5000

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