New Technology a Potential Game Changer for Strengthening Army’s
Defense AgainstImprovised Explosive Devices
WASHINGTON & PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Alcoa (NYSE: AA) and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have launched a
cooperative effort to develop an aluminum solution to a grave threat to
soldier safety: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The solution, a
single-piece aluminum hull for ground combat vehicles, would replace
today’s assembled hulls and deliver even greater strength and
durability. In addition to safety benefits, the single-piece hull would
reduce vehicle weight and assembly time, and, therefore, overall cost.
Alcoa and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have launched a cooperative effort to develop the world's largest single-piece aluminum hull for ground combat vehicles, shown here, to improve the military's defense against a grave threat to soldier safety: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). (Photo: Business Wire) Improved blast protection: A single-piece hull would eliminate
welded seams used in today’s manufacturing processes, which is
expected to significantly improve protection. The single-piece hull
would cover the entire lower section of any combat vehicle.
Increased damage resistance: The use of more blast-absorbent
Alcoa alloys is expected to further increase damage resistance.
Efficient design: Forging hulls as one unit would facilitate
three-dimensional shaping, allowing Alcoa to tailor the thickness
where needed to maximize protection and allow for weight savings.
Cost savings: The structure is expected to reduce costs over
the life of the vehicle by increasing fuel efficiency through
lightweighting and eliminating assembly time and complexity.
"For decades, the Army has recognized the survivability benefits of a
single-piece hull due to its thickness, size and shape for ground combat
vehicles," said Dr. Ernest Chin of the Army Research Laboratory. "Our
collaborative effort to develop continuous and seamless aluminum hull
technology has the potential to be a game changer for how combat
vehicles are designed and made to better protect our soldiers."
Alcoa’s single-piece aluminum hull would improve combat vehicle
“Alcoa has helped the U.S. military stay ahead of emerging threats by
innovating durable, lightweight aluminum technologies since World War
I,” said Ray Kilmer, Alcoa Executive Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer. “Our experts are now developing the world’s largest,
high-strength aluminum hull for combat vehicles to better defend against
IEDs, the greatest threat our troops face in Afghanistan, while meeting
the Army’s affordability needs.”