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TPI Composites General Manager Kevin Weldi poses with the new Humvee  (Source: Associated Press)
New composite Humvees shed 900 pounds of weight

Humvees are synonymous with transporting troops on the ground during times of war. The ubiquitous workhorses are also pretty lacking when it comes to protection from enemy fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The U.S. Army in conjunction with AM General Corp. and TPI Composites Inc. are looking to composite materials to give its soldiers a better chance at surviving treacherous working conditions on Iraq.

Its latest test bed is a Humvee that features a frame and body made of composite materials. Resin material is used to bond together balsa wood, carbon reinforcements, fiberglass and foam. The use of composite materials on the Humvee shaves 900 pounds off the usual 10,000 to 12,000 pound vehicle weight.

"We can put the strength where we need it," said TPI Composites CEO Steven Lockard. "Every pound of weight we save, that weight is being added back to the vehicle in armor and mine-blast protection."

Additional armor could be placed under and around the cabin area of the Humvee to protect the passengers, while the composites materials alone could be used for the hood and fenders.

Predictably, the new composite-bodied Humvees are slightly more expensive than their conventional counterparts and the Army still hasn't made a firm commitment to purchasing the vehicles.

With that said, TPI Composites is fully prepared should the Army give the company the green light. "We could ramp up pretty quickly to most any volume that would be desired," said Lockard.



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

The only story here is the material...
By Comdrpopnfresh on 9/21/2007 9:34:38 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with IEDs and the humvee is that the humvee is flat at the bottom. The force from an explosion is almost fully on the base of the humvee. The RIGHT move would be to move to better troop carriers which reflect the blast- which do exist, and have been promised enmass for years. Instead they just make the same flawed design, just with superstrong balsa...




By winterspan on 9/23/2007 11:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for mentioning it. WHY THE HELL HAS NO ONE EVEN SAID A WORD ABOUT THE MRAP VEHICLES???

Theres a large argument right now about getting the army to get the MRAP IED-resistant vehicles out to Baghdad pronto!

If you don't know what Im talking about people, go wikipedia it!


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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