Provide an alternative manufacturing strategy for flight deck tie downs using MELD’s additive friction stir deposition (AFSD) technology, providing cost and schedule benefits to the Navy and shipbuilders compared to current supply chain.


This project will produce flight deck tie downs using the AFSD method of AM while maintaining the same geometry and function of current tie downs. The focus will be on the aluminum tri-metal tie down, eliminating the explosively bonded interface between the steel and aluminum, to reduce Navy shipbuilding cost and schedule impacts.

Key Deliverables / Benefits:

This project will create a one for one replacement tie down that can be welded into flight decks and print a universal tie down that can easily be adapted with the addition of a collar that matches the deck material it is being welded into. An advantage of the AFSD process is its ability to print different metals together. The project will include analysis and development of a model for use in MELD’s AFSD machine.

Point of Contact:

David Rice | Hepburn and Sons | david.rice@hepburnandsons.com



Project Team:

  • Hepburn and Sons

March 2023 – October 2024