Annex E. International Armaments Strategy
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

O. Materials, Processes, and Structures

Advances in basic materials, materials processing and structures are integral objectives of a number of opportunities discussed throughout the ASTMP and this Annex, including materials for aeropropulsion (E-II.B); characterization of structures for rotorcraft (E-II.C); ballistic protection for soldier systems (E-II.E), materials and structures for hypervelocity missiles (E-II.H) and structures for ground vehicles (E-II.R). Table E.II-14 below provides a summary of key capabilities and trends.

Table E.II-14. Materials, Processes, and Structures

MATERIALS Metal alloys; Composites Metal alloys; Composites Metal alloys; Composites Israel Metal alloys; Organic matrix composite Ceramics; Composites   Ti Alloy
PROCESSES Welding and joining CC ceramic part fabrication Functional gradient coatings Republic of Korea Tungsten processing Polymer processing    
STRUCTURES Lightweight engineering structures; Smart structures Energy absorbing structures; Smart structures Engineering structures; Smart structures       Ti structures

Germany, France, the UK, Japan, and Russia have strong capabilities in most aspects of this technology, with notable capabilities as follows: German EFP and other warhead metallurgy and processes for deposition of functionally gradient materials; France has strong capabilities in carbon-carbon and other ceramics and in the design of crash survivable structures as noted previously in this Annex; Japan is a world leader in fine ceramics, and Russia in titanium and steel alloys, and bulk ceramics. In this context, the term "fine ceramic" denotes material of high purity characterized for specific performance characteristics as opposed to bulk ceramics as might be employed for ballistic protection. Korea has a program in tungsten penetrator technology highlighted below as an existing or near-term pending agreement offering potential benefits.

Both the U.K. and Germany develop and market military systems for lightweight bridging and other civil engineering applications, and have sound capabilities in alloys and structural design for such systems. A growing area of world-wide research interest is "smart structures" -- instrumented structural designs that adapt to external conditions and stimuli to optimize performance.

Japan has been and is expected to continue be a major developer and producer of fibers and matrix feedstock for advanced polymer composites. Finally readers should refer to the discussion of Biological Sciences (Annex E III.K) which addresses the rapidly growing field of bioprocessing, where researchers are looking to biomimetic materials (such as spider silk) to meet critical long-term requirements. In addition, world-wide interest is growing in the potential for bioprocessing to replace more costly and/or environmentally threatening chemical processes.