Thermal Defense Solutions: 3D-Printed Inconel Sound Suppressors
Oleg Volk 04.03.18
On the outside, TDS suppressors look mainstream: basic thread-on rifle mufflers with M.C. Escher pattern on the tubes. On the inside, the story is quite different:
The entire suppressor is printed from powdered Inconel, a particularly wear and heat resistant nickel alloy. Using 3D printing instead of machining from billet or stamping allows a greater flexibility on internal geometry. The shapes of the baffles are tested at Oak Ridge, TN using the same plasma and gas dynamics simulation technologies employed for nuclear projects.
Unlike most monocore suppressors that sacrifice some muffling for the ease of maintenance and alignment, these rate as high on noise attenuation as the best baffle designs.
Additional features include front surface gas venting to dissipate muzzle flash and reflex chamber on Specter model designed for rapid fire. Made wide for greater internal volume, this model adds only 4 inches to the overall rifle length. All full-size TDS suppressors are auto rated.
To reduce blowback even more, TDS designed a very clever self-regulating gas tube for AR15: a bleed-off valve in the middle vents excess gas once the bolt carrier has received sufficient impetus. Combined with the reflex chamber, this makes shooting suppressed DI rifles quite comfortable.
As you can see, there’s neither muzzle signature nor blowback at either ejection port or the charging handle opening. TDS suppressors are currently available for 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifles, with other calibers coming soon.
Besides full-scale suppressors, TDS also offers Bantam, a 1.25″ wide, 4.7″ long 5.56 muffler that only takes the noise down by 20db, but in an unusually compact form factor. Only twice the length of most flash hiders, it looks like a rimfire can while withstanding 5.56 pressures.