Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, ASA(ALT), Phase I

 Laminated Metallic Armor

Release Date: 06/11/2024
Solicitation: 24.4
Open Date: 06/26/2024
Topic Number: A244-036
Application Due Date: 07/30/2024
Duration: Up to 6 months
Close Date: 07/30/2024
Amount Up To: $250,000

Objective

The Army is seeking low-cost, high-yield domestic production processes for laminated metallic armor plates and high strength structural components that can be readily integrated into vehicle structures using existing welding processes. This type of armor and components would allow for significant reduction in weight while maintaining the same level of force protection.

Description

Dual-hardness and tri-hardness laminated and functionally graded armor steel, aluminum, and titanium plate have been researched for decades, e.g. [2-4]. Demonstrated to have high mass efficiencies as compared to traditional monolithic armor plate – in some cases resulting in half the weight of traditional armor materials to defeat equivalent threats – utilization of these advanced, high performance armor systems has been very limited or proven not commercially viable.

Production of these materials has proven difficult to scale cost-effectively, as commercial production practices suffer from plate warpage and waviness, resulting in excessive scrap rates and limited yield. In addition, laminated armor systems have proven difficult to form and join, which restricts their utilization to that of an applique system, rather than their utilization as a fabricated structural component. While high-performing ballistically, ultimately, the cost of the materials and the difficulty in their manufacture and then fabrication into useful structural components has limited their application and commercial viability.

Phase I

This topic is accepting only Phase I proposals for the cost of up to $250,000 for up to a 6-month period of performance.

Demonstrate the feasibility of laminated steel armor:

  • Utilize computational materials engineering approaches to identify and develop novel layered metallic armor system.
  • Produce plates of individual materials to validate simulations and thermomechanical processes.
  • Identify and apply advanced materials processing to prototype 1’x3’ flat plates.
  • Characterize flatness/dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties of the flat plates.
  • Assess single and multi-hit ballistic merit of plate and component.
  • Demonstrate weldability of the metallic armor system.
  • Demonstrate applicability of the layered metallic armor process to a shaped component geometry.
  • Assess scalability issues and limitations of the process.
  • Develop a cost model of the material system and process.

Phase II

Demonstrate the following:

  • Mature manufacturing process controls and identify processing window to ensure a stable, well-controlled process.
  • Utilize computational materials engineering approaches to shaped component geometry having a layered metallic armor arrangement.
  • Produce shaped component configurations.
  • Characterize flatness/dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties of the shaped component.
  • Assess single and multi-hit ballistic merit of component.
  • Identify and mitigate non-conforming dimensional tolerances of shaped components.
  • Improve ballistic performance.
  • Increase thickness of armor material systems.
  • Mature thermodynamic materials models to ensure accurate simulation of manufacturing processes.
  • Demonstrate applicability of processes to potential higher performance, advanced alloys, and multiple materials.
  • Identify how to scale-up manufacturing process of laminated armor systems.

Phase III

Laminated metallic armor and high strength structural components have a variety of commercial use cases to include Lightweight armor for cars and SUVs for police and VIPs, armor for vaults and safes and wear plate for construction and mining equipment.

Submission Information

All eligible businesses must submit proposals by noon, ET.

To view the full solicitation details, click here.

For more information, and to submit your full proposal package, visit the DSIP Portal.

Applied SBIR Help Desk: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.army-applied-sbir-program@army.mil

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References:

  • “USD(R&E) Technology Vision for an Era of Competition”, Memorandum from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, February 1, 2022.
  • Martin, C.F., “The Processing and component fabrication of dual-property steel armor (U)” in the Proceedings of the Symposium on Lightweight Armor Materials, November 5-6, 1964, Warren, Michigan.
  • Wood, R.A., et al. “Development of titanium dual hardness armor plate materials, Report No. RACIC-TR-53”, Advanced Research Projects Agency Project Agile, Contract No. SD-171, November 9, 1966.
  • DiRusso, E., et al., “A new composite aluminum armor plate for weldable construction”, in The Proceedings of the Fourth TACOM Coordinating Conference for Light Combat Vehicles, 29-31 March 1988, Monterey, California.
  • SBIR-STTR-Success: QuesTek Innovations, LLC | SBIR.gov, sourced February 15, 2024
  • Ferrium® M54 – Specialty Alloys | Carpenter Technology, sourced February 15, 2024
  • Flash RA Maximum Strength Steel w/ Retained Austenite in <10s | SBIR.gov, sourced February 15, 2024.
  • Flash Steelworks, Inc. Break Ground on $12.1 Million Steel Manufacturing Facility – Lane Report | Kentucky Business & Economic News, sourced February 15, 2024.
  • Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, “ATI K-12-MIL Technical Data Sheet, Version 1”, 2/24/2012.

Objective

The Army is seeking low-cost, high-yield domestic production processes for laminated metallic armor plates and high strength structural components that can be readily integrated into vehicle structures using existing welding processes. This type of armor and components would allow for significant reduction in weight while maintaining the same level of force protection.

Description

Dual-hardness and tri-hardness laminated and functionally graded armor steel, aluminum, and titanium plate have been researched for decades, e.g. [2-4]. Demonstrated to have high mass efficiencies as compared to traditional monolithic armor plate – in some cases resulting in half the weight of traditional armor materials to defeat equivalent threats – utilization of these advanced, high performance armor systems has been very limited or proven not commercially viable.

Production of these materials has proven difficult to scale cost-effectively, as commercial production practices suffer from plate warpage and waviness, resulting in excessive scrap rates and limited yield. In addition, laminated armor systems have proven difficult to form and join, which restricts their utilization to that of an applique system, rather than their utilization as a fabricated structural component. While high-performing ballistically, ultimately, the cost of the materials and the difficulty in their manufacture and then fabrication into useful structural components has limited their application and commercial viability.

Phase I

This topic is accepting only Phase I proposals for the cost of up to $250,000 for up to a 6-month period of performance.

Demonstrate the feasibility of laminated steel armor:

  • Utilize computational materials engineering approaches to identify and develop novel layered metallic armor system.
  • Produce plates of individual materials to validate simulations and thermomechanical processes.
  • Identify and apply advanced materials processing to prototype 1’x3’ flat plates.
  • Characterize flatness/dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties of the flat plates.
  • Assess single and multi-hit ballistic merit of plate and component.
  • Demonstrate weldability of the metallic armor system.
  • Demonstrate applicability of the layered metallic armor process to a shaped component geometry.
  • Assess scalability issues and limitations of the process.
  • Develop a cost model of the material system and process.

Phase II

Demonstrate the following:

  • Mature manufacturing process controls and identify processing window to ensure a stable, well-controlled process.
  • Utilize computational materials engineering approaches to shaped component geometry having a layered metallic armor arrangement.
  • Produce shaped component configurations.
  • Characterize flatness/dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties of the shaped component.
  • Assess single and multi-hit ballistic merit of component.
  • Identify and mitigate non-conforming dimensional tolerances of shaped components.
  • Improve ballistic performance.
  • Increase thickness of armor material systems.
  • Mature thermodynamic materials models to ensure accurate simulation of manufacturing processes.
  • Demonstrate applicability of processes to potential higher performance, advanced alloys, and multiple materials.
  • Identify how to scale-up manufacturing process of laminated armor systems.

Phase III

Laminated metallic armor and high strength structural components have a variety of commercial use cases to include Lightweight armor for cars and SUVs for police and VIPs, armor for vaults and safes and wear plate for construction and mining equipment.

Submission Information

All eligible businesses must submit proposals by noon, ET.

To view the full solicitation details, click here.

For more information, and to submit your full proposal package, visit the DSIP Portal.

Applied SBIR Help Desk: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.army-applied-sbir-program@army.mil

References:

  • “USD(R&E) Technology Vision for an Era of Competition”, Memorandum from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, February 1, 2022.
  • Martin, C.F., “The Processing and component fabrication of dual-property steel armor (U)” in the Proceedings of the Symposium on Lightweight Armor Materials, November 5-6, 1964, Warren, Michigan.
  • Wood, R.A., et al. “Development of titanium dual hardness armor plate materials, Report No. RACIC-TR-53”, Advanced Research Projects Agency Project Agile, Contract No. SD-171, November 9, 1966.
  • DiRusso, E., et al., “A new composite aluminum armor plate for weldable construction”, in The Proceedings of the Fourth TACOM Coordinating Conference for Light Combat Vehicles, 29-31 March 1988, Monterey, California.
  • SBIR-STTR-Success: QuesTek Innovations, LLC | SBIR.gov, sourced February 15, 2024
  • Ferrium® M54 – Specialty Alloys | Carpenter Technology, sourced February 15, 2024
  • Flash RA Maximum Strength Steel w/ Retained Austenite in <10s | SBIR.gov, sourced February 15, 2024.
  • Flash Steelworks, Inc. Break Ground on $12.1 Million Steel Manufacturing Facility – Lane Report | Kentucky Business & Economic News, sourced February 15, 2024.
  • Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, “ATI K-12-MIL Technical Data Sheet, Version 1”, 2/24/2012.

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 Laminated Metallic Armor

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