Innovative Carbon Fiber and Graphitic Foam Solutions

NCMS Project #: 142029

Problem: Both commercial and military vehicle managers have similar missions of increasing fleet mobility and reducing maintenance costs, while reducing weight.  Historically, lighter-weight elements suffered from negative trade-offs regarding their cost, life, reliability, and durability.  While the lightweight material of choice varies for a specific application, any viable lightweight solution for the replacement of original/current parts will need to maintain strength and durability while reducing maintenance/sustainment costs and increasing payloads.

Benefit: Deliverables from this initiative will support the commercialization of carbon fiber for use in the transportation and automotive industries by demonstrating the technical and financial feasibility of using new manufacturing processes to create more durable and higher strength, light-weight components and parts.

Solution/Approach: This initiative will build upon the successful results of previous related lightweighting initiatives, by creating several carbon fiber and graphitic foam component designs and prototypes.  It will demonstrate the applicability of mesophase pitch carbon fiber and graphitic carbon foam applicability for light and medium truck applications to confirm their potentials over standard aluminum and steel designs as well as meeting the requirements of at least one dual-use Army/commercial vehicle platform.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce maintenance and sustainment costs
  • Decrease vehicle weights and fuel consumption
  • Eliminate corrosion and rust
  • Increase equipment lifespan
  • Improve warfighter readiness
  • Lower carbon footprint

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army CCDC, Ground Vehicle Systems Center
  • PEO GCS Readiness & Sustainment, PM LTV, PM Family of Special Operations Vehicles (FoSOV)

Industry Participation:

  • Advanced Carbon Products-Technologies (ACP-T)
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Survivability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Lightweighting

Focus Area:

  • Alternate manufacturing methods