The Royal Australian Navy is exploring the possibility of using "cold spray" technology to repair its six Collins-class attack submarines. If successful, submarine crews will be able to repair individual parts and even hull coating while at sea.
The essence of cold spraying technology is as follows: a gas jet containing metal particles cleans the damaged surface at a supersonic speed and simultaneously applies metal particles to it layer by layer.
This technology on a submarine has a number of significant advantages over welding, primarily in terms of safety: when using it, there will never be a fire, and repair workers will not get burned. In addition, conventional welding damages the submarine's outer steel coating, which can negatively affect its strength.
One of the main advantages of cold spray is the ability to carry out repairs while sailing. According to Naval Today, the Australian government has allocated funds to develop portable spraying equipment specifically for submarines.