Light Weight Material Solutions for Maintenance & Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 140970

Problem: Lightweighting of vehicles and components is necessary to improve fuel efficiency, extend mission capability, and offset frequent weight gains from vehicle armor and weapons upgrades. Carbon fiber materials, which are very useful for certain vehicle lightweighting applications, are costly and not available from U.S. domestic sources.

Benefit: By light weighting trucks and other ground vehicles, aircraft, and even ships and unmanned equipment, maneuverability, maintenance and sustainment, and transport will be easier and less cumbersome. These advantages should all segue to cost savings.

Solution/Approach: The overall objective is to develop a domestic source of mesophase pitch-based carbon fiber and to evaluate carbon fiber in wheel or other vehicle components that will reduce overall vehicle weight, as well as a demonstrated reduction in maintenance costs while increasing service life of vehicle components. A cost benefit study will be performed on wheels to determine the benefits of these materials in reducing costs and increasing performance.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Increase warfighter payload, performance and protection

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army TARDEC

Industry Participation:

  • Accuride, Inc.
  • Advanced Carbon Products
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Lightweighting

Focus Area:

  • Other