Advanced Braking and Suspension Systems to Improve Reliability and Reduce Maintenance

NCMS Project #: 142091

Problem: Maintaining and sustaining brake and suspension components continues to be a challenge as the average age of commercial vehicles continue to rise.  Advanced materials and electronics such as computers, sensors, and communications technologies are being used to improve vehicle performance, safety, and to reduce maintenance in vehicles more than ever before.  Maintaining legacy braking systems requires much more effort as the brake pads wear out much quicker.  As the paint or coating chips awayparts are exposed to the elements.  As corrosion quickly attacks and rust rapidly forms, total brake pad failure and accelerated wear to the rotors is inevitable.

Benefit: By being able to retrofit large commercial vehicles with Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) and Electronic Vehicle Stability Control (ESC) that include brake and suspension parts that are of improved design and newer advanced materials, will achieve a reduction in maintenance costs for these vehicles.  These parts will be more reliable and durable than the legacy parts because the newer brake pads and rotors are larger and made of improved materials.  The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to commercial industry on how the application of new and advanced technology can be retrofitted on an existing vehicle platform to reduce maintenance, increase safety and reliability of a legacy vehicle.

Solution/Approach: Using advanced nanomaterials that are lighter than those on traditional brake and suspensions, are more corrosion resistant, and perform better during high temperature and friction operations, will extend the life of the components and lowers repair costs.  By modifying commercial-off-the-shelf advanced braking and suspension system technology and integrating onto a legacy military vehicle will demonstrate improved reliability, readiness, and safety.  This solution will provide a significant improvement in HMMWV brake pad and rotor wear, a reduction in vehicle rollovers, and a reduction in stopping distance, preventing front end and other collisions.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase safety and reliability of vehicles
  • Higher system availability
  • Strengthen warfighter readiness
  • Reduce overall maintenance and sustainment costs
  • Improve training and skill set for technical and mechanical personnel

DOD Participation:

  • Red River Army Depot (RRAD)
  • Fort Bragg, NC
  • Fort Irwin, CA
  • Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA
  • Air National Guard Base, IL
  • Product Director, Light Tactical Vehicles

Industry Participation:

  • Ricardo Defense
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Safety
  • Improved readiness
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)

Final Report