first_imgBy Dialogo March 04, 2011 Good work… During a firefight, the last thing a machine gunner wants to do is stop fighting to change barrels, but that’s how it has always been done with standard, single steel-barrel machine guns. The reason for the barrel change is that at high temperatures barrels lose “strength properties,” according to engineers working on a promising alternative. One of the engineers is Vinny Leto, systems project engineer, of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, Weapons System Technology Directorate. During a test firing of a proof-of-concept barrel in December, Leto witnessed a measure of success with the High Performance Alloys for Weapons Applications Project. During testing, the first rifled, cobalt-alloy machine gun barrel ever produced using the “flow forming” process consistently reached high temperatures without degraded performance. The proof-of-concept barrel was made of an alloy that contains more than 50 percent of the metal cobalt. Cobalt alloys are erosion- and corrosion-resistant metals that are designed to retain high strength during long-term exposure to high temperatures. Cobalt alloys are frequently used in the aerospace industry, such as the hot-gas section of turbine engines, explained Leto. Cobalt alloys are also used as short liners for machine gun barrels. “If you look at steel in a machine gun environment, it gets very hot at a high rate of fire,” said Leto. “The benefit of the cobalt alloy is that it is designed to operate in high-temperature, high-stress environments. It has the added benefits of corrosion and erosion resistance.” While cobalt alloy barrel liners have been produced for years, it is very difficult with existing machining techniques to impart rifling. “The material, for all of its phenomenal properties, is very difficult to manufacture and machine,” said Leto. Different from machining, flow-forming is an advanced process used to manufacture precise cylindrical components. The process consists of high-pressure rollers exerting pressure on the exterior of a cylinder, pressing material against a rod-called a mandrel-on the interior of the cylinder. For this project, the flow-forming process was modified to produce the rifling in the barrel bore. More testing and data gathering will be required before engineers know if flow forming manufacturing can be achieved with the alloy. Success, however, would provide war fighters with three potential benefits: lightening their load, increasing barrel service life, and giving them a barrel that could operate at higher temperatures compared to a steel barrel, Leto said. Soldiers and Marines typically carry spare barrels into battle so that they have a cool barrel to exchange if they engage the enemy in a firefight, explained Leto. Having that strength at higher temperatures means that barrels may not need to be changed during a firefight, eliminating the need for the extra barrel and maintaining a steady stream of firepower. Engineering team members met all of their proof-of-concept test objectives when they fired more than 24,000 rounds and achieved an 1,100 degrees barrel temperature. Leto said the alloy barrel was fired from the ARDEC-designed Advanced Remote/Robotic Armament System. Steel begins to lose strength at approximately 1,000 degrees, Leto noted, and the test yielded data needed to assess and design the next round of improvements. The team is planning to produce another prototype that will be fired from a fielded infantry weapon later this year. Previously, the engineers had produced a half-length barrel as an initial demonstration of the flow-forming process before moving on to manufacturing full-length barrels. The Office of Naval Research assigned the engineers as principal investigators into the flow forming manufacturing technology. They are leveraging ARDEC’s expertise with metallurgy and small arms design and analysis. Prototype testing will be conducted here at the Armament Technology Facility, which is ARDEC’s small arms design and evaluation facility. Previously, the engineers had worked with the Office of Naval Research in development of lightweight 60mm and 81mm mortar tubes made with a nickel-based alloy. The team is also working with the Joint Services Small Arms Program, which is also based at Picatinny Arsenal. The JSSAP office oversees the day-to-day implementation of the plan by the joint services regarding the development and investment in small-arms technologies.last_img read more

first_img MORE NEWS: Coast agent selling Quade Cooper’s property A Gold Coast family dropped more than $15 million on three properties near Beaudesert. Supplied.Ray White Rural Queensland agent Peter Douglas said there were 45 registered bidders.“I am simply ecstatic with the result,” he said.“Throughout the campaign we had buyers come from interstate but today all three sold to one Gold Coast based family who have bought them to turn into a farm.”“It’s so brilliant to get every property sold under the hammer. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“We sold like a train today.”A 556ha holding sold for $11.5 million in a fast auction with 14 registered bidders while a multi-titled 146.6ha parcel sold for $3.1 million and a 75ha lot went for $1.2 million. THE FINAL three Queensland rural properties, once earmarked for the former Glendowner Dam project around Beaudesert, sold at auction yesterday for almost $15.8 million.A GOLD Coast family has dropped more than $15 million on three properties at an auction event.The three rural properties, owned by the State Government and once earmarked for the former Glendowner Dam project around Beaudesert, sold at auction on Friday for $15.8 million.In front of 200 people in Beaudesert, Ray White Rural sold the three properties to a mystery Gold Coast family who bought themto create one landholding. Aerial view of the multi-titled 146.6ha parcel that sold for $3.1 million.“I knew we’d have plenty of interest as these were genuine sales of good country which is very rarely available so close to the Gold Coast,” he said.The properties are about 60km from Southport and 70km from Brisbane.The listing described them as a combination of large agricultural holdings and lifestyle properties.“While each is different, they all enjoy wonderful views and are characterised by soft rolling river country,” the listing states. MORE NEWS: Sporting stars selling Gold Coast homes “All the country is predominately open.“These are very good country with some strong river flats and excellent water storages.”Ray White Rural Beaudesert principal Ed Dalton and sales agent Andrew Thomson marketed the properties along side Ray White Rural Queensland agent Peter Douglas.last_img read more

first_imgOMAHA — We’re told social distancing helps save lives, but a new report finds isolation and loneliness can hurt the health of people over age 50 — and Iowa has one of the nation’s oldest populations.Doctor Juliann Sebastian, dean of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, says a solitary lifestyle, void of healthy interactions with friends, can mean a higher risk of depression, heart disease and even death.  “Social isolation and loneliness are each separately associated with health problems — with health outcomes,” Sebastian says, “but together there are correlations between social isolation and loneliness and various causes of mortality or death and various causes of morbidity or illness.”Data from the U-S Census Bureau finds almost 15-percent of Iowans are 65 or older, the fifth most in the nation, while nearly three-percent of Iowans are 85 or older, the third most in the country. Loneliness is not a one-size-fits-all type of problem and Sebastian says we all need to keep a closer eye on our family, friends and neighbors.  “Social isolation and loneliness don’t fit in neatly within our typical health care environment. Those are not typically considered clinical issues,” Sebastian says. “In fact, they really are because of their connection with specific physical and behavioral health outcomes.”One goal of the report is so that health professionals of all types, as well as direct care worker, know that we should strive to identify people who have problems with social isolation and loneliness.  “Not every older adult has these issues and not every person, for example, who lives alone is lonely,” Sebastian says. “We do think it’s very important in the clinical environment for health professionals to assess older adults and determine if these are issues of concern to them and then to connect with people and community organizations that can help.”More research is needed, she says, to determine some of the most helpful ways to intervene. Sebastian says it’s “stunning” to become more aware of the associations between social isolation and loneliness and health problems — and even mortality. “We all need to be, I think, on the alert for someone who might be lonely and find ways to help,” Sebastian says. “Whether it’s ourselves helping or making a connection, with again, with a community organization that can help.” The report says for people who are homebound, have no family, or do not belong to community or faith groups, a medical appointment or home health visit may be one of the few social interactions they have.Sebastian serves as dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in Omaha. read more