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Materials & Manufacturing (MM) | materials processing (mp)

SMF 1The Materials Processing Division conducts applied research over a broad range of materials and material processes in support of the DoD and Industry.  Division researchers develop long term strategic relationships with members of the DoD, academia, and industry to understand critical issues, develop solutions and transition technologies and processes. The division has assembled an experienced technical staff, developed extensive research facilities, and has access to state-of-the-art materials and analysis equipment at the Pennsylvania State University.  Division personnel have participated and lead several multidisciplinary teams that designed, fabricated, tested and implemented solutions to current technical problems. 



Research Capabilities and Facilities include:

  • Coating Technologies - The ARL materials processing division has multiple coating technologies, including cold spray (also known as high velocity particle consolidation (HVPC)), electron beam physical vapor deposition (EBPVD), reactive ion beam assisted deposition (RIBAD), cathodic arc, radio frequency (rf) and direct current (dc) magnetron sputtering techniques. A variety of coating methodologies are used towards the enhancement of coating microstructure and composition to tailor and improve the properties of vapor deposited coatings such as erosion resistant coatings, thermal barrier coatings, oxide materials, transition metal nitrides, carbides, and borides, and transition and rare-earth metal oxides for a variety of applications in the aerospace, tooling, power, biomedical, and optical industries. In addition, multifunctional, multilayer, composite, superlattice, solid solution, functionally graded, and nanostructured coating architectures can be deposited depending on the application.

  • Metals & Ceramics Processing - A wide array of processing techniques are available in metals and ceramics processing.  Spray metal forming, hot pressing, and extruding are a few examples of the processing techniques commonly utilized for alloy development.  Additionally, materials characterization, mechanical property testing, corrosion testing/evaluations, and failure analyses are routinely conducted in the department.

  • Corrosion Engineering - Corrosion related activities at ARL address both corrosion testing and corrosion research. Research efforts are focused on optimizing corrosion resistant coating performance, corrosion resistant alloy comparisons, and the mechanisms of crevice corrosion.

  • High Pressure Test Facility - (visit webpage) ARL´s High-Pressure Test Facility simulates deep ocean environments. Three cylindrical vessels are available for hydrostatic pressure testing and evaluation of submersible structures and components. The vessels are located in an 1,100 square foot work area and are serviced by a 20-ton crane. The facility uses hydrostatic pressure to isostatically mould industrial materials.

Areas of Expertise


  • Development and Processing of High Performance Aluminum Alloys
  • Multifunctional Blast and Ballistic Structures and Materials
  • High Performance Thermal Barrier Coatings
  • Corrosion Resistant Materials and Coatings
  • Wear Resistant Materials and Coatings
  • Erosion Resistant Materials and Coatings
  • Smart Coatings
  • Electronic Materials and Devices
  • Design and Fabrication of Ceramic and Functionally Tailored Composites


  • Cold Spray (High Velocity Particle Consolidation)
  • Cold Isostatic Pressing (CIP)
  • Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition (EB-PVD)
  • Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD)
  • Cathodic Arc Deposition (CA)
  • Radio Frequency (RF) and Direct Current (DC) Magnetron Sputtering
  • Spray Metal Forming (SMF)
  • Hot Pressing (HP)


  • Materials Characterization
  • Mechanical Testing of Materials
  • Failure Analysis
  • Corrosion Testing and Analysis
  • Microstructure-Mechanical Properties Relationships
  • Tribology (Wear and Friction)
  • High Temperature Corrosion Testing (Type I and Type II)
  • Erosion Testing
  • Atmospheric and Humidity Controlled Thermal Cyclic Oxidation Testing

New Areas of Research and Collaborative Research

  • In-situ Repair Processes
  • Fuels Cells for UAV Applications
  • Low Profile Antennas for UAVs and UVGs
  • Solar Panels for Remote Vehicles
  • High Thermal Conductivity Material Systems (Thermal Packaging)

Key Personnel & Expertise

  • Tim Eden, PhD - Materials Processing
  • Doug Wolfe, PhD - Coatings Development, Synthesis, Processing and Analysis