RUAG Australia’s dedicated Research and Technology (R & T) team is constantly in search of ways to improve the company’s broad range of products and services, by leveraging both existing and new technologies to develop available, reliable and affordable solutions for our customers – no matter how complex their requirements.
Research and development initiatives include additive manufacturing methods, such as Supersonic Particle Deposition (SPD) and Laser Additive Deposition (LAD). Instead of milling a piece from a solid block, additive manufacturing builds up structures layer by layer using feedstock materials (in the form of fine powders and wire) that are available for all commercially used material types.
RUAG Australia is proud to drive Innovation and the company is proud to contribute to research programs which target practical and outcome-focused safety initiatives, product reliability improvements, technical efficiencies in material science fields and cross-functional applications of new solutions.
Supersonic Particle Deposition (SPD)
Supersonic Particle Deposition (SPD), often referred to as Cold Spray, is a technology whereby metallic powder is sprayed in an inert gas stream onto a metallic substrate at high velocity to form a deposit on the substrate material.
It is an alternate technology for rapidly repairing corroded, worn and damaged components as opposed to repair by traditional methods or replacement, and is particularly relevant to expensive components and to components with long repair/replacement lead times. This agility significantly improves aircraft and component return-to-service times.
SPD technology solutions can be applied using RUAG Australia’s fixed capability at Bayswater, or directly to aircraft and components in the field using RUAG Australia’s unique Field Portable SPD Unit.
RUAG Australia’s SPD technology is approved under Military Standard MIL-STD 3021 w/CHANGE 2 – Materials Deposition, Cold Spray (issued March 2015).
SPD Frequently Asked Questions
What is it?
A cost-effective solution for corrosion protection and the restoration of corroded or damaged metallic components and structures. SPD reestablishes and maintains an acceptable level of structural integrity and functionality.
What is the difference between Cold Spray and SPD?
They are interchangeable names used for the same Technology.
How does it work?
SPD functions by directing metal, composite feedstock material particles to impact a solid surface in a supersonic jet of compressed gas, with sufficient energy to cause plastic deformation and bonding with the underlying material. In contrast to other deposition processes (e.g. plasma spray), no heat-affected zones are created in this process, making it especially desirable for many structural applications.
Is it safe?
Yes. The application of SPD has been demonstrated to not be deleterious to commonly used aerospace materials, through an Acceptance Protocol matrix sponsored by the Australian Director General of Technical Airworthiness and developed by RUAG Australia (formerly Rosebank Engineering Australia). Additionally, a validation test program had been completed in cooperation with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.
Is it certified?
SPD technology is approved under Military Standard “MIL-STD 3021 w/CHANGE 2 – Materials Deposition, Cold Spray (issued March 2015)”. This approval was initially issued in August 2008, having been subjected to improvements and refinements with the growth of the technology since.
Laser Additive Deposition
High rates of corrosion, wear and other metallic damage bring about increased high component change-over rates and high manpower costs, together with larger and more expensive component inventories, leading to reduced aircraft availability.
Laser Additive Deposition (LAD) is an additive manufacturing technology whereby metallic feedstock is fed into a laser generated molten point on a metallic substrate to form a deposit shielded by an inert gas stream, with the required geometry built up layer by layer.
LAD technology restores components to conditions which are equivalent to or better than their original configuration, and can be widely applied to a broad spectrum of aircraft materials.The substantial economic returns with this technology are:
- Less expensive and faster than traditional repairs.
- Significant savings compared to current component replacement costs.
- Multiple component life extensions.
Our Partners in Research & Technology
RUAG Australia greatly values the contribution of its national and international R & T partners. RUAG Australia is proud to work with various domestic and international:
- Government bodies;
- Universities; and
- Privately owned companies.