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LCAC LIFT FAN BLADE COATING

LCAC Lift Fan Blade Coating

Problem: The U.S. Navy spends over $1M/year repairing and replacing the lift fan blades on the LCAC Landing Craft. Sand and water quickly erode the aluminum blades.

Solution: The Navy has identified Laser Induced Surface Improvement (LISI) as a potential way of annealing robust materials on complex substrates. MTTC and ST2 will coat several lift fan blades and observe their performances on fleet LCACs.

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Benefits

Estimated Navy Cost Avoidance:

Minimum annual:       $1,400 K

Minimum 15 Year:   $21,000 K

 

Fleet Impact: A tungsten-carbide coating on the lift fan blades should almost eliminate the need to replace the 112 fan blades on each LCAC. Overhaul periods and  operational impact will be reduced.

Status: Ongoing

 

ST2 has experienced technical difficulties while coating test fan blades. Porosity in the LISI layer has been linked to substrate contamination. The cleaning process has been modified to provide a better process. The focused laser has caused localized annealing of the 6061 aluminum alloy, especially at the thin leading edges. ST2 and the University of Tennessee are evaluating new techniques to solve this problem. MTTC has granted ST2 a contact extension to solve these problems.

 

Applications:

U.S. Navy LCAC Fan Blades

LISI holds promise for numerous other shipboard uses such as  permanent non-skid, uptakes, etc.

 

 

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