AM for Hypersonics Project Call

July 28, 2020 | Categories: America Makes News, Opportunities, Project Call, Technology

Project Concepts Due August 28, 2020 | Full Proposals Due October 12, 2020

Additive Manufacturing of High Temperature Metals for Hypersonics Applications Project Call

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a proven valuable enabler for the rapid manufacture of complex assemblies.  USD(R&E) in collaboration with the Assistant Director, Hypersonics has identified development of AM for high temperature metals as key to timely fielding of hypersonic capabilities and addressing shortfalls of traditional manufacturing processes which are often costly, low-yield, and labor intensive.

Download RFP

Technical Topic Areas

This project call will focus on the following technical topic areas:

Among the most critical areas where robust AM is needed is scramjet flow paths for air-breathing hypersonic vehicles.  Current state-of-the-art scramjet designs incorporate multiple AM parts produced via multiple builds.  These parts are large and incorporate thin walls and complex internal features (cooling channels).  Such complexity introduces risks when joining parts and requires a high degree of precision to maintain proper alignment.  Approaches are needed to reduce risk via improved AM part joining techniques with reduced thermal input and higher yield.

Assembly of components of dissimilar materials presents another joining challenge, as traditional manufacturing methods may increase corrosion susceptibility and contribute to undesirable stress, degradation, and optical path changes during flight.  These risks are particularly relevant for hypersonic glide body substructures which could readily benefit from AM to reduce the need for dissimilar metal joining.

Dissimilar metal joints often include the use of fasteners, welding, or brazing.  These joint designs can be susceptible to encountering debits in structural performance due to various geometric, thermal, and chemical factors.  Mitigation methods for these risk factors often include complex, low yield manufacturing processes and over-designed (thicker) joint geometries which can negatively impact system performance, cost, and lead time.

Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Hypersonics Missile Defense Architecture is seeking an approach to these issues utilizing gradient material AM.  Gradient printing can, in theory, occur within the same class of alloys or transition between different types of materials, but the methods of deposition as well as performance characterization and repeatability determination require additional exploration. Directed Energy Deposition (DED) as well as Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI) are two potential methods that could be explored, but do not encompass the breadth of possibilities.

Further investigations in the area of AM for high temperature metals are also needed to scale manufacturing capabilities to alternative alloys.  Currently, a majority of AM focus has been on traditional alloys, as many high temperature metals are difficult to weld and thus create severe challenges for processes such as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) AM.  Promising routes have been developed to progress AM of alloys which outperform conventional high temperature metals, including high temperature nickel superalloys.  However, improved scaling of current capabilities is necessary to lend viability to such alternatives for use in hypersonics applications.

Two-Step Proposal Process

Proposers will follow the two-step America Makes Project Call Proposal Process:

STEP 1 – Project Concept 

Deadline: August 28, 2020

The America Makes Project Concept Tool is designed to drive the selection of the best ideas for America Makes projects. Ideas selected through this tool will then be invited to complete a full proposal to obtain federal funding.

Proposers are required to complete the Project Concept Tool, summarizing their team’s high-level technical approach and technology transition requirements.

All Project Concepts are due by 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, August 28, 2020.

Project Lead organizations must be America Makes members by September 21, 2020.

STEP 2 – Full Proposal

Deadline: October 12, 2020

Selected proposing project teams will develop a full project proposal and will have approximately 30 days to submit their full proposal to NCDMM.  Upon submission, all members of proposing teams shall submit a valid copy of their respective organization’s military critical technical data agreement (DD2345).

Full project proposals are due by 5pm EDT, Monday, October 12, 2020.


  • Project Lead organization must be an America Makes member in good standing by Monday, September 21, 2020.  To achieve a good standing status a non-member organization must establish a new America Makes membership and provide a cash payment or enter into an @Program MOU to satisfy the membership fee obligation for the first year of membership.  Cost share provided during the period of performance of the project will be applied to the first renewal cycle of your membership. Information on how to join America Makes is available on the membership page.
  • Project Team organizations are not required to be America Makes members.


Project Call announcement and posting 07/29/2020
Kickoff Webinar at America Makes TRX 08/04/2020
Questions from proposers about scope or approach due 08/14/2020
Responses to proposers about scope or approach due

(All questions and responses will be shared with all proposers below)

Lead proposer required to be an America Makes member 09/21/2020
Fully executed NDA with NCDMM (only if proposal contains proprietary information) 08/21/2020
Project concept submission due date 08/28/2020
Decision and notification to project concept teams who are being asked to submit full proposals 09/11/2020
Full project proposal submission due date 10/12/2020
Target date for review of proposals 10/11/2020
Anticipated decision and notification to project proposal teams 11/06/2020
Anticipated date to have ALL projects on contract 12/01/2020

AM for Hypersonics Project Call Q & A

The focus of this project call is high temp metals which can readily operate in a relavant temperature range of hypersonics applications and which offers an acceptable mix of material mechanical properties at high temperatures.

All research performed through America Makes fill gaps between TRL level 4 and TRL level 7

Government agencies can participate on a project team but cannot receive funding, cannot be the lead, and cannot provide cost share as the money they would be providing would just be other federal dollars which is not allowable under 2 CFR 200.

Contact one of the following individuals:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, teams may submit more than one Project Concept form.

Questions should be emailed to Questions will be posted to the America Makes website according to the RFP schedule. Questions asked AFTER the scheduled Q&A session will NOT be addressed.

Yes, however all foreign-owned companies must apply for a foreign membership by completing Sections A & B of the membership request form, prior to proposal submission.  The approval process for foreign-owned entities can take up to 4 weeks to complete.  Please contact Tiffany Westbay for more information.

Please note, federal dollars cannot be spent outside of the United States.  It is the Lead / team’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable export control laws and regulations.

Yes. However, the tool was created on a PC and is best maneuvered on a PC.

YES.  The proposals will only be reviewed by the evaluation team and each team member signs a confidentiality agreement.

The owning organization should list anything that they are leveraging that is not going to be made available to the membership at the completion of the project.  This could be a patent number or a description of the background IP that is being leveraged.