On October 28, 2021, Austal USA issued a press released to announce the award of a contract to Electrawatch by the Office of Naval Research. Metallum3D partnered with Electrawatch to provide them with an additive manufacturing capability which uses the unique combination of bound pellet extrusion and microwave sintering.
Charlottesville, Va. – The United States Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded ElectraWatch, an Austal USA Company, a highly competitive Manufacturing Science Program contract to identify new material processing pathways that use additive manufacturing for Copper-Nickel (CuNi) heat exchanger designs. ElectraWatch was one of only five organizations, and the only non-academic organization, to receive a contract award.
“I’m proud of the hard work our engineering team has done to make this contract award possible,” ElectraWatch General Manager Ryan Dunn said. “We are honored that this award puts us in a position to further champion the next generation of manufacturing capabilities and to best equip the Sailors who protect and support our country and our allies.”
Dr. Scott Kasen, ElectraWatch’s principal engineer, explained that the enormous heat loads of future naval vessels require advanced designs for seawater heat exchangers which may only be achievable by leveraging the design freedom afforded by Additive Manufacturing (AM). “Despite the tremendous advancements in AM,” Kasen said. “Existing modalities are unable to easily process CuNi alloys which are chosen for their high thermal conductivity, demonstrated corrosion performance, and biofouling resistance in marine environments.”
To overcome the challenges of existing approaches, ElectraWatch partnered with Metallum3D to propose a novel AM capability which uses the unique combination of a bound pellet extrusion process and microwave sintering.
This project reinforces Austal USA’s position as a global leader in advanced ship manufacturing and sustainment. Investing in these future capabilities demonstrates the commitment of Austal USA and ElectraWatch to continue expanding post-delivery support and sustainment offerings, while also supporting multiple shipbuilders, maintenance providers, and the U.S. Navy across a broad range of military ships deployed in the U.S. fleet.
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About Austal USA
Austal USA is an advanced shipbuilder headquartered in Mobile, Ala. with service centers in San Diego and Singapore. The company’s modern ship manufacturing facility is designed to maximize efficiency through the use of moving assembly lines for module construction and adherence to lean manufacturing principles. Austal USA joined the U.S. defense market in 2004 and quickly rose to become the fifth largest shipbuilder in the U.S. Today, Austal USA supports both steel and aluminum ship construction as well as services and support worldwide. The company is under contract with the U.S. Navy to build the small surface combatant Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship, the auxiliary ship Expeditionary Fast Transport, and the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship. Earning safety excellence awards the last six consecutive years, Austal USA continues to be one of the safest shipyards in America.
About ElectraWatch, an Austal USA Company
ElectraWatch is a research, engineering and product development firm in Charlottesville, Va. Founded in 2008 and acquired by Austal USA in 2018, ElectraWatch is a wholly-owned subsidiary focusing on improving aluminum testing capabilities and performing general IR&D functions to further Austal USA's mission of excellence in advanced shipbuilding. The Degree of Sensitization Probe developed by ElectraWatch has performed over 9,000 non-destructive field measurements on U.S. Navy vessels, saving countless dollars and hours of maintenance planning efforts for aluminum repair.
Media & Marketing Manager | Austal USA
Tel: +1 (251) 654-8134 | Email: Michelle.Bowden@AustalUSA.com