News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan



6. Materials Science

Materials science 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–28 summarizes international research capabilities in each major subarea of materials science.

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.

Materials science provides the bases for materials with desired, high–level properties needed by the Army in structural armor, antiarmor, CB 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.

a. Manufacturing and Processing of Structural Materials

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 polymerization, composite layup, physical and chemical vapor deposition, and surface modifications, among others.

Many nations have significant capability in the manufacturing and processing of advanced materials of interest to the Army. The U.K., France, Germany, and Japan are all at or near the forefront of research into the processing of steels, titanium, aluminum, PMCs, MMCs, superalloys, intermetallics, and C–C composites. Expertise in these areas also resides in the FSU, particularly in Russia. Niche capabilities can be found in many countries, for example in Austria, Sweden, Canada, and South Africa for advanced steel research; and Israel and Italy for C–C composites, among others. Growing capabilities are developing in Asia and the Pacific Rim, particularly in China, India, and South Korea.

Table E–28.  International Research Capabilities—Materials Science

Technology

United Kingdom

France

Germany

Japan

Asia/Pacific Rim

FSU

Other Countries

Manufacturing & Processing of Structural Materials 1s.gif (931 bytes) Welding & joining

2s.gif (968 bytes) Steel; AI; Ti; PMC; superalloys; intermetallics; C–C

5s.gif (958 bytes) MMC

1s.gif (931 bytes) CMC

2s.gif (968 bytes) Steel; AI; Ti; PMC; superalloys; intermetallics; C–C

5s.gif (958 bytes) MMC

1s.gif (931 bytes) Ceramics

2s.gif (968 bytes) Steel; AI; Ti; PMC; superalloys

5s.gif (958 bytes) MMC; C–C

1s.gif (931 bytes) Steel; MMC; PMC; C–C; CMC

2s.gif (968 bytes) AI, Ti; superalloys; intermetallics

China, South Korea

3s.gif (977 bytes)

India

4s.gif (949 bytes) Steel

China, India

4s.gif (949 bytes) AI, Ti

China, India

5s.gif (958 bytes) C–C

Russia

2s.gif (968 bytes) AI; Ti

3s.gif (977 bytes) Steel; superalloys

5s.gif (958 bytes) PMC

Ukraine

2s.gif (968 bytes) Welding & joining

Austria, Sweden, Israel, Canada, South Africa

2s.gif (968 bytes) Steel

Canada, Sweden, Spain, Israel

2s.gif (968 bytes) PMC

Sweden

5s.gif (958 bytes) Superalloys

Sweden, Canada

5s.gif (958 bytes) Intermetallics

Israel, Italy

5s.gif (958 bytes) C–C

Norway

5s.gif (958 bytes)

Materials for Armor & Antiarmor 4s.gif (949 bytes) Personnel armor

2s.gif (968 bytes) Armor; antiarmor

1s.gif (931 bytes) Personnel armor; tungsten–carbine armor

2s.gif (968 bytes) Heavy armor; antiarmor

2s.gif (968 bytes) Armor

4s.gif (949 bytes) Antiarmor

4s.gif (949 bytes) Armor, antiarmor

5s.gif (958 bytes) Ceramic armor

China

5s.gif (958 bytes) Armor; antiarmor

South Korea

4s.gif (949 bytes) Tungsten alloy penetrators; armor

Russia, Ukraine

2s.gif (968 bytes) Armor; antiarmor

Israel

1s.gif (931 bytes) Personnel

Israel, Sweden

1s.gif (931 bytes) Antiarmor

Israel

2s.gif (968 bytes) Armor

Slovakia

5s.gif (958 bytes) Armor

Processing of Functional Materials 1s.gif (931 bytes) Electronic & electrical

5s.gif (958 bytes) Optical & optoelectronic; magnetic

2s.gif (968 bytes) Optical & optoelectronic

4s.gif (949 bytes) Electronic & electrical

5s.gif (958 bytes) Magnetic

1s.gif (931 bytes) Electronic & electrical

5s.gif (958 bytes) Optical & optoelectronic; magnetic

1s.gif (931 bytes) Electronic & electrical; optical & optoelectronic; magnetic; superconductors Taiwan, South Korea

4s.gif (949 bytes) Electronic & electrical

Russia

3s.gif (977 bytes) Electronic & electrical

5s.gif (958 bytes) Magnetic

6s.gif (990 bytes) Optical & optoelectronic; superconductors

Netherlands, Israel, Italy

2s.gif (968 bytes) Optical & optoelectronic

Netherlands

2s.gif (968 bytes) Electronic & electrical; magnetic

Slovakia, Italy

6s.gif (990 bytes) Electronic & electrical

Engineering of Material Surfaces 1s.gif (931 bytes) Coatings; ion implantation

5s.gif (958 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing

2s.gif (968 bytes) Ion implantation; machining, finishing, & polishing

4s.gif (949 bytes) Coatings

1s.gif (931 bytes) Coatings

2s.gif (968 bytes) Ion implantation; machining, finishing, & polishing

1s.gif (931 bytes) Coatings; machining, finishing, & polishing

5s.gif (958 bytes) Ion implantation

South Korea

4s.gif (949 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing; coatings

China

5s.gif (958 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing; coatings

Russia, Ukraine

2s.gif (968 bytes) Coatings

4s.gif (949 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing

5s.gif (958 bytes) Diamond deposition

Switzerland, Sweden

1s.gif (931 bytes) Coatings

Canada Italy, Netherlands

4s.gif (949 bytes) Coatings

Sweden, Italy

2s.gif (968 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing

Netherlands, Switzerland

5s.gif (958 bytes) Machining, finishing, & polishing

South Africa, Israel

5s.gif (958 bytes) Diamond deposition

Nondestructive Characterization of Components 1s.gif (931 bytes) Metrology; NDE systems 1s.gif (931 bytes) Metrology

4s.gif (949 bytes) NDE systems

1s.gif (931 bytes) Metrology ; NDE systems 1s.gif (931 bytes) Automat.

4s.gif (949 bytes) Metrology; NDE systems

South Korea

4s.gif (949 bytes) Metrology; NDE systems

China

5s.gif (958 bytes) Metrology; NDE systems

Russia

5s.gif (958 bytes) NDE systems

Sweden, Switzerland

4s.gif (949 bytes) Metrology

Sweden, Italy, Switzerland

4s.gif (949 bytes) NDE systems

Note: See Annex E, Section A.6 for explanation of key numerals.

 

b. Materials for Armor and Antiarmor

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

c. Processing of Functional Materials

Processing of functional materials is key to providing military advantage to materials that 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 of interest include waveguides, lenses, mirrors, laser hosts, and sensor covers. For magnetic materials, the Army is concerned with data recording media, signature control, power supplies, and motor applications. Electrical materials needs focus on solenoids, minesweeping, 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, and switching.

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

d. Engineering of Material Surfaces

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, EM, 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) contribute very strongly to the costs and value added of Army materials. Thus, activity on machining, ion implantation, chemical vapor deposition and sputtering for coatings, and adhesion of protective layers, 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 U.K. are very strong, as are Switzerland and Sweden. For coatings of many types, France, Germany, the U.K., and Russia are among the leaders. Areas of strength exist abroad in ion implantation and thin–film diamond deposition.

e. Nondestructive Characterization of Components

NDE of components divides into a few focus areas. For quality of materials produced, France, Germany, the U.K., other European countries, and Japan have increased capabilities with NDE systems. In all aspects of metrology, Japan is excellent, as are the U.K., 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.

The following highlight a few examples of specific research facilities engaged in work in materials science.

South Africa—Materials Science and Technology Division (MATTEK), CSIR. A government supported facility, the CSIR is Africa’s largest scientific and technological R&D organization. CSIR’s MATTEK has one of the broadest ranges of materials research activities in South Africa, including some programs with state–of–the–art facilities and world–class research. Selected programs in MATTEK include piezoelectric composites for underwater acoustics, medical diagnostics, and ultrasonic instrumentation, rapid prototyping, thermal spray coating, and polymer additives for a variety of applications, including corrosion resistance, antifogging agents, and lubricants.

Norway—The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF), Materials Technology Institute. SINTEF is Scandinavia’s largest independent research organization. The institute has 200 staff members in two sites, in Oslo and Trondheim. Research areas include process metallurgy and ceramics, casting and metal forming, fracture mechanics and materials testing, and corrosion and surface technology. Significant research projects include studies into new technologies for rapid prototyping and ceramic materials for stronger porcelains, membranes for sensors and liquid–gas separation, and abrasion resistant tools and equipment. World–class work is being done in the area of silicon microelectromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers by a spinoff company, SensoNor, a world leading supplier of MEMS technology to the automotive industry.

China—Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). CAS is one member of a collaborative group of research institutes that is working in the area of functional polymers. Other collaborating institutions include Tsinghua University, City University of Hong Kong, and the Institute of Photographic Chemistry of the CAS. These groups are actively working to develop organic materials for a variety of photonic and electronic applications. Though the level of work has yet to achieve world–class stature, the research equipment and funding are improving, and the scientists are of very high quality and training. Specific programs include development of polymer materials for nonlinear refractive indices, EO effects, and characterization of structural properties of novel polymer materials.

Japan—International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC)ISTEC is a nonprofit foundation formed in 1988 to develop and exploit superconductivity technologies in government and industry. The foundation has over 100 industrial and government supporting member organizations and runs the Superconductivity Research Laboratory and its affiliated centers. ISTEC supported R&D of high–temperature superconductivity has given Japan a lead in the development of the basic science and applications of these materials and devices. ISTEC supported work has led to significant improvements in the growth of multilayer thin–film growth of high–temperature superconductors for electronic device applications, as well as the development of a number of thin–film devices (e.g., a Josephson Junction mixer for radio astronomy antenna).

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