A new thermal spray process for recovering drive shafts on U.S. Marine Corps LAV combat vehicles. In a project for the Marine Corps, C3R® researchers found that about 80% of these expensive shafts are currently being scrapped at the USMC Maintenance Center, Albany, CA, because of coating disbonding from the shaft and rust developing beneath the coating. In order to recover these shafts and reuse them instead of scrapping them C3R® developed a recovery process consisting of:

  1. Removing the original Nylon 11 coating from the shafts using single-point turning techniques;
  2. Applying an Abcite coating to the shafts using thermal spray techniques;
  3. Machining the Abcite coating to the desired diameter and surface finish.

Using this new process, driveshafts could be recovered by the process for less than 22% of the cost of purchasing new shafts.

Innovative techniques for salvaging heavy-duty truck engine blocks. Heavy-duty truck engines are subject to extensive wear and tear that can lead to destructive cracks in the cast iron engine blocks. Cracked engine blocks are usually scrapped, but the C3R® Structural & Material Analysis team conducted a project to see if damaged blocks can be economically salvaged for reuse. The team identified the engine blocks' material aging process and then used Design of Experiments techniques to identify the best welding procedure. Finally, they simulated specimen and sub-scale component testing to validate the weld process. The result of the project is a cost-effective welding technique to successfully restore the engine blocks instead of discarding them.