The AMRICC Centre in Stone, Staffordshire, where Lucideon will carry out research into a superalloy for potential use in US Navy nuclear-powered vessels.

Lucideon poised to help research new way of forming components for US Navy nuclear reactors 

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A leading Staffordshire-based technology, development and testing company is helping support the future of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet. 

Materials solutions business Lucideon has two sites in the US which are contributing to key research for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program into a process that densifies materials. 

And work to evaluate the properties of a Nickel-based superalloy that has been developed will be overseen from the company’s North Staffordshire base, working from the new high technology AMRICC Centre in Stone. 

It is hoped the superalloy – formed at high pressure and high temperatures (a process called PM-HIP) -– will support the drive to develop mission-critical components for the fleet.   

Lucideon is working with the Naval Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), which has tasked its Reactor Equipment Development Unit with running the project, to develop innovative manufacturing methods enabling new designs in support of the next generation of US Navy reactors.  

Tony Kinsella, CEO of Lucideon, pictured above, said: “NNL is driving forward the development of this technology in an effort to supplement conventional forging for large, high-value, metallic components required within nuclear propulsion systems. 

“Increasing production volumes for submarines and surface ships are putting stress on existing supply chains, and this technology offers an opportunity to expand capacity and reduce the significant lead times that exist today. 

“Under the 12-month programme, we will be drawing on our world-leading material science testing and assurance capabilities, expertise, and technologies to enable and accelerate the R&D activity. 

“Ultimately this will provide the robust data NNL needs to fully characterize the PM-HIP process. 

“This is a highly complex project, which has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the U.S. Navy nuclear-powered fleet.” 

Ron Quenby

Senior journalist with more than 25 years’ experience of working as a news reporter for provincial and national newspapers. Ron’s varied skills include feature writing, interviewing for real life stories and compiling specialist articles for in-house publications.

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