South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Receives Aviation Award

Aviation Week & Space Technology awarded the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD Mines), the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base and Moog Inc. Laureate Award for pioneering the use of cold spray technology in aircraft repair and maintenance.

The cold spray is now being used to help keep the B-1 bombers of the United States Air Force combat ready.

According to SD Mines, the cold spray process involves blasting metallic powder at a high velocity onto a metal surface that is worn or in need of repair. The metal particles, or spray, bond to the existing metal and create repaired surfaces that are like or better than new.

The development of cold spray at SD Mines led to the highly successful spin-off company VRC Metal Systems. This unique system was developed specifically for providing agile, high-quality repairs to defense weapon systems at Air Force bases.

Our Armed Forces rely on domestic metals and minerals for sophisticated weapons systems and safe transport of our troops.

The Department of Defense uses up to 750,000 tons of minerals annually in the manufacture of military gear, weapon systems and other defense applications. Without minerals like silver, beryllium and copper, key hardware like B-1 helicopters, jet engines and body armor wouldn’t be possible. Minerals are fundamental to our national security.

Hardrock mining companies and NMA members like Barrick Gold, Coeur Mining, Freeport-McMoRan and Hecla Mining are working overtime to ensure that our military gets the minerals and materials it needs to keep our country safe.