Army Researchers, Alcoa Engineers Forge Ground Vehicle Hull R&D Partnership

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Alcoa have teamed up to engineer an aluminum hull for ground combat vehicles with the goal of protecting troops from threats.

The team aims to build a single-piece hull that removes welded seams for blast protection and resists damage through increased amount of alloys, Alcoa said Monday.

Ray Kilmer, Alcoa executive vice president and chief technology officer, said Alcoa engineers aim for the aluminum hull to help protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices.

Alcoa designed the single-piece hull and the project is part of the Army’s Affordable Protection from Objective Threats program.

“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 Ernest Chin of the Army Research Laboratory.

Alcoa’s defense segment, the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will collaborate to enhance the hull at the Alcoa Technical Center.

Alcoa will later work with engineers to build 20-by-7 foot sample hulls for demonstration.

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