Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-01-0536
2011-04-12

Application and Performance Characteristics of Aluminum Armor Plate for the Hull Construction of Current and Future Military Tactical Vehicles 2011-01-0536

The application of aluminum armor plate for military vehicles has significantly increased during the past decade. Both US Army and Marine Corps place great emphasis on lighter weight, higher agility and fuel efficiency as well as improved survivability. This requires lighter armor which makes aluminum armor plate a major structural material. Recent US ARL investigations indicate that when properly designed, aluminum armor plate can indeed provide the required level of ballistic protection at lighter weight. Consequently, in the past few years, a number of new alloys and tempers have been added to military armor plate specifications. One tactical vehicle with aluminum hull i.e. MRAP RG-33 has already been deployed and is currently operating in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, one of the three selected JLTV designs uses aluminum hull.
In this paper, metallurgical and performance characteristics of various aluminum armor plate alloys will be addressed with respect to the latest requirements for tactical vehicles. Besides strength and ballistic resistance to armor piercing projectile, properties such as sensitization and corrosion resistance, weldability, and fracture toughness will be discussed. The discussion will include Al-Cu, Al-Zn, and Al-Mg armor plate alloys. Comparison will be made between impact characteristics of various aluminum armor plates. These include shattering and spalling, resistance to fragments, and resistance to mine blast and IEDs.

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