Cold spray additive manufacturing will reduce down time for Australia’s submarines, says GlobalData

Following the news that Australian Submarine Company (ASC) has partnered with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and DMTC Limited to pioneer additive manufacturing for submarines;

Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“According to GlobalData’s report, The Australian Defense Market – Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2024, the service life of the Royal Australia Navy’s Collins-class SSK fleet has to be extended with the majority of vessels upgraded and overhauled before the 12 submarines under the SEA 1000 Future Submarine program can start to replace them from 2030.

“Presently, this is undertaken via an In Service Support Contract (ISSC) between ASC and Defence Material Organisation. Maintenance is done through full cycle dockings oat ASC North in Osborne, South Australia or shorter term activities at ASC West in Henderson, Western Australia where the submarines are based. 

“Now, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a cold spray technique for maritime application and will allow Australia’s submarines to remain at sea and rather than dock for repairs. ASC, CSIRO and DMTC have all worked with cold spray as a repair technology earlier, though this is their first time with a maritime application.

“This is not the first time that Australia has used cold spray technology in the maritime sphere though. In late November last year, Australia’s Department of Defence funded an A$ 1.5m (US$ 1.01m) project to use a 3D printer to produce metal parts to help streamline the maintenance of its patrol vessels.

“The development and maturity of these technologies will help Australia adapt measures to reduce maintenance time and costs while developing local industry and technology. In the case of their submarines, these developments will help them fulfill their primary roles of defense and two-ocean surveillance.”

More Media