backtop


Print 65 comment(s) - last by winterspan.. on Sep 23 at 11:41 PM


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.



Comments     Threshold


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

By sdifox on 9/21/2007 12:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by DEVGRU on September 21, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Yeah, and each one of those F1 cars cost millions - with hundreds of millions spent in R&D, testing, and manufacturing. And the (amazing) protection carbon fiber does provide an F1 car is (99%) engineered to perform in the lateral plain (front, side, rear).

Costs aside, (I know that wasn't your point per sa) carbon fiber (and its close cousin Kevlar) aren't known for its anti-ballistic, kinetic, or thermal resistance as far as stopping 1-2000 lbs. of C4, HMX, RDX, or Semtex explosives in a shaped charge directly beneath a vehicle, be it a Hummer or flipping a 60-ton M1 Abrams onto its back like a turtle.


But they are not talking about replacing armour with composite, just the skin. At least that is what I read.


By sdifox on 9/21/2007 12:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to say structural and skin, but adding more armour with the weight saved.


"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

Related Articles
U.S. Army's Hunter UAV Scores a Hit in Iraq
September 11, 2007, 9:48 AM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki