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.
(757) 312-0542 ext. 30
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.
The contractors, ST2 and the University of Tennessee encountered problems in adjusting the heat balance so the coating would adhere without damaging (annealing) the Aluminum 6061 alloy substrate. The contract expired without delivery of fan blades for at-sea testing. This project has been terminated, however ST2 is continuing work under other funding vehicles. A solution to the problem may still be forthcoming.
:U.S. Navy LCAC Fan Blades
LISI holds promise for numerous other shipboard uses such as permanent non-skid, uptakes, etc.