AFRL Invented High-Performance Steel Continues to Provide Capability for the DoD
In 2016, our researchers invented and patented a new weapons-grade steel alloy, “AF9628,” that reduces cost and improves the performance of many air-delivered weapons. The formulation was developed in under a year and cut costs by removing a pricey ingredient which had long been believed to be necessary for the alloy’s strength.
Now produced entirely in the United States, this affordable and superior steel has helped the U.S. Air Force realize a 50% cost savings on materials for many of its current weapons systems. In 2018 AFRL-AFIT successfully printed AF9628 parts and performed initial mechanical property characterization experiments. The additiveley manufactured steel has already proven stronger than the traditionally produced AF9628. The U.S. Army is planning to use this steel as armor for personnel and vehicles, preserving the lives of our soldiers. The RW team continues to collaborate with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX), and Texas A&M University (TAMU) to research the development of this high-strength, low-cost steel alloy (AF9628) for additional capabilities.