LIFT Kicks Off Next Phases of Hypersonic Materials Development Work

Lightweight Materials

LIFT, the Detroit-based Department of Defense national manufacturing innovation institute today announced it, along with its ecosystem partners, has kicked off the next phase of its Hypersonics Thermal Management and Hypersonics Material Acceleration programs.

The new program phases follow on LIFT’s original work on those two topics, both of which were launched in 2021 and are expected to wrap up this year. Operating at speeds of Mach 5 or higher, hypersonics and counter-hypersonic vehicles are among the Department of Defense’s top priorities, and understanding the materials required to survive these speeds is critical to further developing those vehicles.

“Understanding materials characteristics is at the core of everything as we look to manufacture the components of the future, particularly those which need to travel in excess of 4,000 miles per hour,” said Nigel Francis, CEO & Executive Director, LIFT. “We are proud to be leading the effort in developing the materials and processes which will lead to transformational change in U.S. manufacturing, enabling us to leap ahead of our global competitors.”

The first phase of LIFT’s material acceleration program focused on advancing metallic and ceramic materials and manufacturing processes involved in developing components for high-temperature and hypersonic applications. That work, with partners including Friedman Research Corporation (FRC), Michigan Technological University (MTU), University of Central Florida (UCF), University of Arizona (UofA), Alfred University, the University at Buffalo, Spectrum Engineering, and Hexagon, included development of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) material digital twins, material property assessment, alloy development for hypersonic applications, and dissimilar material joining.