Norfolk Naval Shipyard Works to Leverage Additive Repair Technology

Story Number: NNS180205-32Release Date: 2/5/2018 2:24:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Kristi Britt, NNSY Public Affairs Specialist

NORFOLK (NNS) -- A Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) team visited the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University (PSU) Nov. 3-5 for a knowledge sharing event for new additive repair technology.

Additive repair represents the next technological revolution for numerous industries, including ship overhaul and maintenance. NNSY is exploring techniques to leverage this revolutionary process for component repair, which has the potential to significantly shorten supply chains, and improve readiness for essential parts and subsequently service to the fleet.

Aligned with the shipyard's rally call, "Raise the Bar," and with the goal to help lead Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in innovation, this event provided NNSY the opportunity to meet and learn from recognized industry leaders, with an aim to implement this new technology locally.

"Our goal is to cultivate the innovative ideas of our people and deploy new technology in order to improve processes and environment to further increase throughput and drive a culture of success," said Eric "Chops" Clarke, the Mechanical Community of Practice Lead at NNSY. "These sorts of partnering events provide our people with a greater understanding of the technologies out there and how they would benefit in our service to the fleet."

The NNSY working group collaborated with the ARL/PSU team to learn the fundamentals behind the operation of state-of-the-art cold spray systems. Cold spray is a material-deposition process whereby particles of diameters between 1 and 30 microns are impacted at supersonic velocities onto a substrate. During the impact, the particles undergo a compressive deformation, bonding with the substrate material to near original composition without porosity or fracture.

This involved programming and performing robot controlled and handheld repairs on mock-ups of ball valves which were fabricated as test articles for the new technology process. This interaction provided NNSY personnel with a much greater understanding of the complete cold spray process which includes the set-up and operation of the facility and operation and maintenance of the cold spray equipment. In addition, PSU gained a better understanding of NNSY intended applications, operating environment, procedural compliance and processes and the future needs of the Navy.

"This event has shown what our partnership is capable of and NNSY and ARL/PSU will continue to work together to implement and transition cold spray technology and to identify and implement new and emerging technologies in the future," said Clarke.

Clarke also noted that one of the greatest benefits was the personal connections that were developed.

"These relationships will make it possible to answer questions in a timely manner, guide development of new processes and repairs and explore new applications," said Clarke. "It will provide NNSY greater access to the expertise and technology at ARL/PSU and will allow ARL/PSU to better understand and quickly respond to the needs of the Navy."

Clarke continued, "Charles Taylor (Mechanical Engineer in NNSY Facilities) and I were also given the opportunity to lecture in an Engineering Science and Materials class on how materials respond to different applications. This provided the PSU engineering students with a perspective of working engineers and real world application and experience. It was a great opportunity to showcase the opportunities at NNSY for employment and internships. We look forward to future partnerships and sharing innovative strategies and ideas with the community."

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Norfolk Naval Shipyard, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service.