U.S. Army develops cold spray process to repair costly Bradley’s gun mounts

The U.S. Army has announced that with funding from the Army’s Manufacturing Technology Program, a team of scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Armaments Center worked together to develop a cold spray process to repair costly turret gun mounts on the Army’s M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

“This project demonstrated the ability to apply new manufacturing technologies to bring components back into service that would otherwise be scrapped during depot maintenance operations,” said Gehn Ferguson, CCDC ARL materials engineer.

The project began in 2017 when CCDC ARL visited RRAD to view the inspection process and access the wear on the Bradley turret gun mounts. RRAD, the primary depot responsible for the Bradley vehicle, inspects gun mounts for excessive wear. In subsequent months, CCDC ARL developed and demonstrated a process for repairing the gun mounts using cold spray. Prior to developing the cold spray process, worn gun mounts that were inspected and identified as non-repairable were disposed of.

“Cold spray is an emerging technology that will enable the Army to reclaim worn components that were previously replaced with new parts. This new technology reduces lifecycle cost and improves systems availability,” Ferguson said.

While the cost of a new 25mm gun mount is more than $25,000, a cold spray repair costs approximately $1,000. Additionally, the cold spray process improves readiness by reducing the time that a Bradley is out of service while lessening the burden on the supply chain by reducing the necessity for stockpiling new gun mounts.

Cold spray is a process where micron-sized particles are accelerated in a high velocity gas stream through a nozzle and subsequently consolidated on a target surface. The accelerated particles impact and bond to the surface, resulting in a buildup of the sprayed material. Both the sprayed …read more

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