Annex E. International Armaments Strategy
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


F. Materials Science

Materials provide the enabling technologies for fabrication of all physical devices and systems used by the Army. Advances in materials science, engineering, and technology make possible the solutions, options, and improvements for performance, durability, and life cycle costs of all these systems. Table E.III-5 summarizes international research capabilities in each major subarea of materials science.

Table E.III-5. Materials Science

MATERIALS SCIENCE UNITED KINGDOM FRANCE GERMANY OTHER COUNTRIES JAPAN PACIFIC RIM FSU
Structural Materials Steel
Al,Ti
PMC
Superalloys
Intermetallics
Welding and joining
MMC
CC
Steel
Al, Ti
PMC
Superalloys
Intermetallics

CMC

MMC
CC

Steel
Al, Ti
PMC
Superalloys
Ceramics
MMC
CC

Austria

Sweden

Israel

Canada

S.
Africa
Steel

Canada

Sweden

Spain

Israel
PMC

Sweden
Superalloys

Sweden

Canada
Intermetallics

Israel

Italy CC

Steel

Al, Ti
MMC
PMC
CC
CMC
Superalloys
Intermetallics

China

S. Korea
India
Steel
China
India

CC
China
India
Al, Ti

Russia Steel

Superallo
ys
Al, Ti
PMC
Ukraine
Welding
and joining
PMC - polymer matrix composites; MMC - metal matrix composites; CC - carbon-carbon composites; CMC - ceramic matrix composites
 
Materials for Armor and Antiarmor

Personnel armor,

Armor,

Anti-armor

Personnel armor,

Heavy-armor,

Anti-armor
,
Tungsten- carbide armor

Armor,
Anti-armor

Israel

Slovakia Armor
Israel

Sweden Anti-armor

Israel Personnel armor

Armor,
Anti-armor
,
Ceramic armor

China
Armor,
Anti-armor
S. Korea
Tungsten alloy penetrators,

Armor

Russia
Ukraine
Armor

Anti- armor

e- electonic and electrical; o - optical and optoelectronic; m - magnetic
Processing of Functional Materials

e

o

m

e

o

m
e

o

m
Slovakia
Italy
Netherlands e
Netherlands m
Netherlands

Israel

Italy

o
e

o

m

Supercon- ductors
Taiwan S. Korea
e

Russia
e

o

m
Supercon- ductors

e- electonic and electrical; o - optical and optoelectronic; m - magnetic
Engineering of Material Surfaces

Coatings

MFP


Ion

Coatings

MFP
Ion

Coatings

MFP

Ion

Switzerland
Sweden
Coatings
Canada
Netherlands
Italy
Coatings
Italy
Sweden
MFP
Netherlands
Switzerland
MFP
S. Africa
Israel
Diamond deposition

Coatings

MFP
Ion

China
MFP

Coatings
S. Korea
MFP
Coatings

RU, UK
Coatings
MFP

Diamond deposition

MFP - machining, finishing and polishing; ion - ion implantation
 
Non-destructive Characterization of Components Metrology
NDE systems
Metrology


NDE systems
Metrology
NDE systems
Sweden
Switzerland
Metrology

NDE systems
Italy
Sweden
NDE systems
Metrology

NDE systems

Automat.
China

S. Korea
Metrology
NDE systems
Russia
NDE systems
Automat - computer controlled and data reduced in real time for components

Materials Science provides the bases for materials with desired, high level properties needed by the Army in structural armor, anti-armor, chemical/biological agent protection, laser protection, infrastructure applications, propulsion, and biomedical applications. All materials classes are included: metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, coatings, energetic solids, semiconductors, superconductors, magnetic and other functional materials. Army research in materials includes vital areas such as synthesis of new materials, modifications of existing materials, and design of microstructures and composite architectures to meet property-specific performance needs. Also included are advanced characterization concepts and methods to specify and control microstructure, properties, and degradation events.

Processing of materials is a key part of this program. It spans the flow of precursor materials on through microstructural developments into useful materials or components at acceptable costs. Materials processing includes topics such as casting, rolling, forging, sintering, polymerization, composite lay-up, machining, chemical vapor deposition, and surface modifications, among others.

There are many unique Army requirements which make stringent demands on materials. As a prime example, armor/anti-armor clearly is a high priority area for the Army. Armor materials include those specifically designed to protect equipment and personnel from enemy threats. Anti-armor materials are used in the projectiles, penetrators, shaped-charge liners, etc. designed to defeat enemy armor. For armor, the UK, France, Germany, Israel, and Russia are overall world leaders, along with the US. For anti-armor projectile materials, the UK, France, Israel, Sweden, and Russia have very significant and relevant dense alloy capabilities.

Processing of functional materials is key to providing military advantage to materials which fulfill optical, magnetic, electrical, and electronic needs. Although many commercial applications exist for such materials, these are often at lower performance levels than those of the Army. Thus, understanding of the processing of functional materials allows their use in military systems with performance at the upper limits of their capabilities. These functional materials must be of the highest quality also because of their influence on sustainability and for operations of all types of Army platforms, vehicles, weapons systems, etc. Optical materials interest include waveguides, lenses, mirrors, laser hosts, and sensor covers. For magnetics, the Army is concerned with magnetic data recording media, signature control, power supplies, and motor applications. Electrical materials needs focus on solenoids, mine sweeping, and high field magnets. Since electronic materials are the key foundations of the Army's electronic systems, they are of interest for functions including logic, amplification, memory, display, delay, signal generation, sensing, switching, etc.

For processing of functional materials, the US generally has the lead overall, but others (viz., France, the UK, Germany, Japan, other European nations, and Russia) have strong capabilities which rival those of the US. Japan is more advanced than the US in some areas of electronic materials. The UK, Russia, Japan, Israel, Germany, and China are very active across several areas of optical materials. For magnetic materials, the US is the leader overall, though Japan has some capabilities in all areas of magnetic materials as well. The UK is capable in high permeability magnetic alloys. For magnetorestrictive alloys, Sweden and the UK have technologies comparable to that of the US. Many other nations are active in selected areas of magnetic materials. For electrical materials, the US has the lead in superconducting wire. Japan, Germany, Italy, and the UK have capabilities in wire processing as well. High temperature superconducting materials work goes on all over the world, with the US in the lead with prototype wire processing.

Precise control, fabrication, and modification of materials' surfaces are areas with great impact on Army systems. The surface is the region where the component meets its operating environment, be it chemical, mechanical, thermal, electromagnetic, etc. in nature. It is the region within which failure usually originates during system performance or storage. Control, modification, tailoring, and precise definition (e.g., of dimensions, geometry, optical figure, flaw content, etc.) contribute very strongly to the costs/value added of Army materials. Thus, activity on machining, ion implantation, chemical vapor deposition and sputtering for coatings, adhesion of protective layers, etc. all are fertile topics in engineering of surfaces for Army use.

Materials surface engineering capabilities are widely held across the world. For precision machining and polishing, Japan, Germany, France, and the UK are very strong, as are Switzerland and Sweden. For coatings of many types, France, Germany, the UK, and Russia are among the leaders. Areas of strength exist abroad in ion implantation and thin film diamond deposition.

Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of components divides into a few focus areas. For quality of materials produced, France, Germany, the UK, other European countries, and Japan have increased capabilities with NDE systems. In all aspects of metrology, Japan is excellent, as are the UK, France, and Germany. Switzerland and Sweden also excel in selected areas. All of these nations are paying growing attention to automation in the use and interpretation of NDE both for product quality and process control.

All industrialized and rapidly developing countries have materials related activities and capabilities. Many nations now can produce materials for specific military usage, including materials engineered to defeat enemy threats and those which preserve the capability of high performance systems in the field. Thus, Army capabilities can face challenges internationally. Also of importance for materials science and materials technology is that all industrialized nations continue to do advanced work across these fields, and rapidly developing nations are building strengths in materials fields as well.