The ability to respond timely and cost effectively is bringing rapid manufacturing techniques into the mainstream production/repair arena. The Army can benefit from such technologies to avoid long lead times and high costs of procuring and inventorying replacement parts. But, a technology that offers versatility in terms of product size, cost and the ability to fabricate production components rapidly is yet to be available. This paper describes thermal spray technologies as applied to rapid manufacturing, part refurbishing and reengineering. A hybrid thermal spray system that can deposit a variety of materials with high throughput and density has been developed. Several generic materials that can meet the functional requirements of many parts and at the same time can be easily deposited by a thermal spray technique are discussed. An expert system software assisting the operator from CAD information, reverse engineering to part refurbishing is presented. Examples on the use of multiple schemes to remanufacture a part are also discussed. These schemes offer new avenues to fabricate replacement parts and/or salvage damaged parts and can benefit the Army considerably.

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