Chapter One
Introduction

Trucks represent the backbone of any military operation, providing fighting forces with the integral support supplies—equipment, food, water, ammunition and fuel—required for success on the battlefield.1

USE OF TRUCKS IN THE U.S. ARMY

The U.S. Army has approximately 250,000 trucks and 110,000 trailers in service at any given time.2 The majority (approximately 80 percent) of trucks fall into the following three classifications: Class 2B (8,500 to 10,000 lb); Class 6 (19,501 to 26,000 lb); and Class 8 (33,001 lb and over). About 100,000 of the Army’s trucks are High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), known as Humvees. These fall into Class 2B and are the representative military light truck. An additional 100,000 medium-duty trucks, with 2.5- or 5-ton payload capacities are under Class 6. Finally, more than 20,000 heavy-duty vehicles are under Class 8. These include off-road trucks and specialty vehicles, such as the Palletized Loading System (PLS) truck, the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), the 70-ton Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS), the Medium Equipment Transporter (MET), the Light Equipment Transporter (LET), and three models of line-haul tractors. The 110,000 trailers include cargo, flatbed, lowbed, ammunition, van, tanker, and special-purpose trailers.

These trucks and trailers represent the logistical backbone of military operations. The light-truck fleet provides transportation for unit commanders, ambulances, and communications and weapons platforms. The medium-truck fleet is the primary mover of unit equipment and personnel. The heavy-truck fleet provides transportation for bulk quantities of fuel, ammunition,

1  

P.F. Skalny, A.J. Smith, and D. Powell. 2001. 21st Century Truck Initiative Support to the Army Transformation Process. SAE Paper No. 2001-01-2772. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers.

2  

U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). 1998. Tactical Vehicle Fleetbook. Washington, D.C.: Fleet Planning Office, U.S. Army TACOM.



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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Chapter One Introduction Trucks represent the backbone of any military operation, providing fighting forces with the integral support supplies—equipment, food, water, ammunition and fuel—required for success on the battlefield.1 USE OF TRUCKS IN THE U.S. ARMY The U.S. Army has approximately 250,000 trucks and 110,000 trailers in service at any given time.2 The majority (approximately 80 percent) of trucks fall into the following three classifications: Class 2B (8,500 to 10,000 lb); Class 6 (19,501 to 26,000 lb); and Class 8 (33,001 lb and over). About 100,000 of the Army’s trucks are High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), known as Humvees. These fall into Class 2B and are the representative military light truck. An additional 100,000 medium-duty trucks, with 2.5- or 5-ton payload capacities are under Class 6. Finally, more than 20,000 heavy-duty vehicles are under Class 8. These include off-road trucks and specialty vehicles, such as the Palletized Loading System (PLS) truck, the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), the 70-ton Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS), the Medium Equipment Transporter (MET), the Light Equipment Transporter (LET), and three models of line-haul tractors. The 110,000 trailers include cargo, flatbed, lowbed, ammunition, van, tanker, and special-purpose trailers. These trucks and trailers represent the logistical backbone of military operations. The light-truck fleet provides transportation for unit commanders, ambulances, and communications and weapons platforms. The medium-truck fleet is the primary mover of unit equipment and personnel. The heavy-truck fleet provides transportation for bulk quantities of fuel, ammunition, 1   P.F. Skalny, A.J. Smith, and D. Powell. 2001. 21st Century Truck Initiative Support to the Army Transformation Process. SAE Paper No. 2001-01-2772. Warrendale, Pa.: Society of Automotive Engineers. 2   U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). 1998. Tactical Vehicle Fleetbook. Washington, D.C.: Fleet Planning Office, U.S. Army TACOM.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks and other supplies, and for the deployment of combat vehicles and engineering equipment.3 Army trucks are subject to environmental conditions that are very different from those typical for commercial trucks. For one thing, being stationed all over the world, they are subject to a wide range of environmental conditions, including hot dry deserts, damp salty marshes, and cold snowy fields. Exposure to these harsh conditions results in extensive truck corrosion. In addition, Army trucks are subject to tactical threats such as mine blasts and shrapnel fragments. The duty cycle of Army trucks is also significantly different from that of commercial vehicles. First, Army trucks are typically kept in service for decades, and because the Army has no top-down allocation for vehicles at various stations, there may be a different mix of new and old trucks at each station. Second, because the Army has no dedicated truck operators, Army trucks are driven by many different drivers with many different driving styles. Third, most of the time, Army trucks are parked in unsheltered locations between missions. An Army truck typically averages only 2,000 to 3,000 miles per year. Finally, truck use is highly variable, ranging from peacetime driving on public roads (nearly 80 percent of the time) to battlefield scenarios that include harsh environments and terrains. U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Within the U.S. Army, the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) has responsibility for trucks. TACOM dates back to 1940, when the U.S. government built an arsenal in Warren, Michigan. This arsenal collaborated with the automotive industry and built more than 25,000 tanks for the Allied nations during World War II. In 1967, the arsenal was renamed the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command and was given control over nearly all of the Army’s tank-automotive systems. In 1995, the Armament and Chemical Acquisition and Logistics Activity at Rock Island, Illinois, and the Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, were added to the command, which then changed its name to the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command. In 1998, Red River Army Depot in Texas and Anniston Army Depot in Alabama were added. Today, TACOM’s mission is to provide the Army with ground combat 3   See note 2 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks equipment (i.e., tanks), automotive equipment (i.e., trucks), marine equipment (i.e., boats), and armaments technologies and systems (e.g., small arms, machine guns, cannons, and large artillery systems). TACOM’s activities include research and development, procurement and fielding, sustainment, and retirement.4 Trucks in the Legacy Force Fleet The Army is facing significantly curtailed budgets for the purchase of new tactical wheeled vehicles. TACOM has estimated that funding is at least $300 million a year below the optimum level for the types and quantities of trucks required.5 At current replacement rates, more than half of the light-truck fleet will be overdue for either replacement or servicing in the extended service program by 2013. At that time, 5,000 trucks from the original Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) fleet procured from General Motors between 1983 and 1986 will still be awaiting replacement. Significant numbers of medium-duty trucks will be more than 35 years old. The age of the Army’s existing fleet of trucks, known as the Legacy Force fleet, is resulting in problems in mobility for deployment, readiness, and availability to support combat operations. A recent analysis indicates that the effectiveness ratio of the total tactical wheeled vehicle fleet, now at 0.63, is expected to deteriorate to less than 0.4 by 2013.6,7 Army planners are faced with setting acceptable levels of economic useful life and operational readiness below those that would be achieved by a full and continuous modernization of the entire fleet. FUTURE ARMY TRUCKS The U.S. Army’s plans for improvement and modernization are known as the Army Transformation. This transformation has as its goal the evolution of 4   U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). 2001. Our History. Available at <http://www.tacom.army.mil/history.htm>. Accessed March 2003. 5   See note 2 above. 6   The effectiveness ratio is one way of measuring the condition of the truck fleet. It is a parameter used by the Army to measure fleet capability by comparing a fleet with a mixture of old and new vehicles against a totally modernized fleet. A totally modernized fleet would have an effectiveness ratio of 1, indicating that the requirements are completely filled. A fleet with an effectiveness ratio of 0.9 would theoretically be able to accomplish 90 percent of its mission. 7   See note 2 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks the current Army, defined as the Legacy Force, into the desired future Army, known as the Objective Force. The Objective Force must be capable of meeting and defeating any threat to the national security in the 21st century, including threats from small groups of terrorists and threats from enemies equipped with sophisticated weapons and tactics. The state of the Army between these two stages is referred to as the Interim Force. The requirements for the Objective Force are deployability, sustainability, survivability, lethality, responsiveness, versatility, and agility.8 The Objective Force must be able to be deployed anywhere in the world on short notice and must be deployable using air, sea, or land transportation. The goals of the Army Transformation include the ability to place a combat-capable brigade anywhere in the world in 96 hours; a division (four brigades) on the ground in 120 hours; and five divisions on the ground in a theater of war in 30 days. The goal is to produce an affordable, technologically superior Objective Force that has the capability to sustain itself with the equipment, food, water, ammunition, and fuel needed to overcome enemy threats. The truck fleet must support the ability of the Objective Force to fight in any terrain under any weather conditions or visibility conditions. It must also support the ability to self-protect and to mitigate the effects of conflicts. The truck fleet’s payload capacity must support the unit of action for 7 days of self-sustainment, must be compatible with the prevailing shelter and storage configurations, and must meet all applicable International Standards Organization (ISO) requirements. Strategy for Transforming the Army’s Truck Fleet The Army has a three-pronged strategy for transforming its truck fleet from the current Legacy Force fleet to the future Objective Force fleet: The science and technology-based advances that are anticipated in the longer term will be focused on meeting the Objective Force’s future needs for superior, highly maneuverable, and mobile combat platforms. These platforms require significantly better automotive performance than existing vehicles can provide. Development of the Future Combat System (FCS) and the Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS) are the main manifestations of this vision.9,10 A technology roadmap is being developed with the goal of achieving 8   See note 1 above. 9   See note 1 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks the requirements of the Objective Force. This roadmap identifies and prioritizes common technologies across future combat platforms. New technologies will be applied to platform design for the FCS and the FTTS, which together will become the backbone of the Objective Force. . The Army intends to field an Interim Force that is capable of providing early deployment and that is more agile and lethal and has greater survivability than the Legacy Force. The Interim Force truck fleet will be composed of existing systems or systems that can meet the initial requirement with only slight modifications. As research for the Objective Force leads to major system development, integration, testing and evaluation, and production, these new technologies will be inserted into the Interim Force fleet, which will thereby evolve into the final state of the Objective Force fleet. . Because the current truck fleet continues to degrade faster than it can be upgraded by new product acquisition, the Army is using a recapitalization program to maintain Legacy Force fleet size and capability. The recapitalization program is aimed at improving the reliability, safety, maintainability, and efficiency of the equipment; extending service life; reducing operations and support (O&S) costs; and providing enhanced capability until substantial portions of new systems are fielded. The recapitalization program includes both rebuilding and upgrading. The rebuild process returns aging systems to their original performance specifications. Upgrading under this program can provide additional or replacement components that enhance the war-fighting capability of the system, although it does not permit improvements in major systems or subsystems, such as advances in overall vehicle configuration or structural architecture. Requirements of the Future Army Truck Fleet In order to achieve the characteristics required of the Army’s Objective Force, the future truck fleet must meet a variety of requirements, including deployability, transportability, and mobility. As discussed below, these goals require that Army trucks consume less fuel, undergo significant weight reduction, have a reduced logistics footprint, and need less maintenance while maintaining or increasing payload capability and other performance criteria. 10   N. Halle, TACOM. Future Tactical Truck Systems. Presentation to the committee, May 9, 2002.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Reduced Fuel Consumption Fuel comprises about 70 percent of the Army tonnage shipped to a battle zone. An armored division consumes approximately 600,000 gallons per day, and an air assault division requires approximately 300,000 gallons per day. It is interesting to note that of the top 10 Army battlefield fuel users, only 2—tanks and combat helicopters—are actual combat platforms; the major contributors to fuel use are Army trucks and supply and support equipment. Although the Army uses the actual cost of fuel, set at around $1.01 per gallon, in all of its cost calculations, the true cost of fuel is much higher. In normal times, the true cost of fuel, including delivery, is closer to $13 per gallon. This increases to between $100 and $400 per gallon for delivery to war zones with no established fuel lines, roads, or infrastructure.11,12 The numerous advantages to reduced vehicle fuel consumption include the following: Improved fuel efficiency would enhance platform performance. For example, the range of many weapons systems is currently limited by the capacity of their fuel tanks. Improved fuel efficiency would reduce the size and cost of the fuel logistics system. High fuel consumption currently limits the Army’s agility. The Army Research Laboratory has estimated that if the Abrams tank were 50 percent more fuel-efficient, the Desert Storm buildup could have taken 20 percent less time.13 The fuel burden also places constraints on deployability and transportability. The ability to transport Army trucks using C-130 aircraft is a key performance attribute of the Objective Force. 4. In the future, geopolitical considerations may impose severe constraints on fuel availability. 11   Defense Science Board. 2001. Report of the Defense Science Board on More Capable Warfighting Through Reduced Fuel Burden. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. 12   C. Mahan. Sustainment Needs for Army Transformation. Speech at National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) Working Symposium on Sustainment, Jacksonville, Fla., April 16, 2002. 13   See note 11 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Weight Reduction A light infantry division of 11,520 troops is deployed with a weight of 18,122 tons—which includes the weight of the soldiers, their personal gear, and all equipment as well as 1 day's ammunition, 5 days' rations, construction materials, and personal items; and clothing, petroleum products, medical supplies, and spare parts for 15 days. This so-called "light" division deploys 3,841 vehicles and 83 aircraft. To move this force requires 816 C-141 sorties or 61 C-17 sorties. A "heavy" armor division, by contrast, weighs 102,052 tons and includes 17,186 troops and 8,125 vehicles.14 Currently, the Legacy and Interim Forces cannot meet the future requirements of rapid deployment and mobility because the available aircraft cannot transport the necessary weight to every possible outpost within the allowable time limits. When designing equipment and planning operations involving transport by C-130 aircraft, Army planners need to consider certain major operational limitations.15 The range of the aircraft can be severely compromised by the aircraft’s total weight (which includes aircraft, crew, equipment, fuel, and cargo). For structural reasons, increases in the C-130's payload weight above 36,500 lb require a disproportionate increase in the landing fuel required, with a significant decrease in range. A major payoff would be realizable in the Army Transformation if a fully assembled Army vehicle and its fuel were transportable on the same aircraft. In addition to that consideration, weight reduction in Army trucks is a critical design feature that would enable them to achieve greater survivability, longer cruising range, and extended operation without resupply, all at higher road speeds and maneuverability.16 Reduced vehicle weight can lead to increased fuel efficiency and increased payload capacity. For heavy vehicles, it has been estimated that a reduction of 15 to 20 percent in vehicle weight is realistic. Such a weight reduction could reduce the vehicle’s rolling resistance by at least 5 percent and could also enhance braking efficiency. The payload capability could be increased by up to 10 percent and, assuming fully loaded travel 30 to 50 14   National Research Council. 1999. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 15   J.F. Cassidy. 2001. C-130 Transportability of Army Vehicles. Report No. MTMCTEA (MTTE-DPE). Newport News, Virginia: Military Traffic Management Command. 16   See note 1 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks percent of the time, the overall increase in fuel efficiency would be about 2 to 5 percent.17 Reduced Logistics Footprint The principal logistics burdens for the Army truck fleet are the fuel, ammunition, food, water, and spare parts necessary to sustain a military force during operations. But the logistics burden also includes the logistics personnel and equipment that provide supplies, maintenance, transportation, medical services, and other support for combat units, and the supplies and support required to keep these logistics organizations in operation. Reductions in the consumption of fuel, ammunition, water, food, and spare parts during an operation can therefore lead to an even greater reduction in the logistics burden.18 To meet the challenges of reducing the logistics footprint, the Army has developed an initiative entitled Revolution in Military Logistics (RML). The interrelated objectives of the initiative are as follows: Establish a distribution-based logistics system; Reduce O&S costs, Reduce maintenance costs, Reduce fuel consumption by 75 percent, Reduce the logistics infrastructure by 50 percent, Enhance the ability of the Army to deploy in a timely manner, Provide a power source for digitization, Adapt to the increased operation tempo, and Survive in the battlefield. The RML would leverage advances in information systems technology and fuse operations concepts with logistics systems. This change would involve a shift from a system of accumulation of supplies to a distribution-based logistics system with real-time situational understanding, new organizational designs, and use of proven commercial business practices. 17   Department of Energy. 2000. Technology Roadmap for the 21st Century Truck Program: A Government-Industry Research Partnership. Report No. 21CT-001. Available at <http://www.trucks.doe.gov/pdfs/P/62.pdf>. Accessed March 2003. 18   See note 14 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks The goal of the RML is to reduce sustainment requirements and logistics infrastructure.19 Reduced Maintenance The goals of the Army Transformation require that future Army trucks need less maintenance and have lower O&S costs than those of trucks in the Legacy Force fleet. O&S costs include those for maintenance, support equipment, personnel training, supply management, facilities, storage, and spares inventory. Over the life cycle of an Army truck, these costs are at least as high as the initial acquisition and procurement costs. In fact, a study by TACOM concluded that, when personnel costs were included, the total O&S costs for the medium tactical truck ranged from 66 to 72 percent of the total life-cycle cost of the vehicle.20 As vehicles age, the O&S costs increase. Corrosion accounts for a high fraction of the O&S costs. Army trucks quickly develop problems with corrosion owing to harsh environmental conditions and duty cycles. The annual cost of corrosion maintenance alone typically ranges from $800 to $1,200 per 5-ton vehicle, or approximately 1 percent of initial vehicle cost. Some Army vehicles become so seriously damaged from corrosion that the structural integrity of the vehicle is compromised.21 When no longer safe for use, these vehicles must be replaced with new purchases of improved models. However, corrosion and environmental damage remain a serious problem even in newer vehicles, such as the FMTV.22 This damage needs to be contained by maintenance activities, which in turn increase the cost of ownership. A report on the cost of corrosion for 5-ton Army trucks indicates that consideration of the cost of downtime due to corrosion treatment and maintenance further exacerbates the O&S cost profile.23 This study estimated that the total cost of corrosion for 5-ton Army trucks over a 4-year period was more than $31 million. 19   See note 18 above. 20   R.S. Bazzy. TACOM. Cost and Systems Analysis Information. Presentation to the committee, May 9, 2002. 21   Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA). 1978. An Evaluation of the Rust Condition of Trucks, 1/4 Ton: M151 Series. Report No. TR-226. Warren, Mich.: AMSAA. 22   General Accounting Office. 1999. Army Medium Trucks: Information on Delivery Delays and Corrosion Problems. Washington, D.C.: General Accounting Office. 23   E. Harris. 1987. The Real Cost of Corrosion: Accounting for Downtime, Implications and Methodology. Report No. MTL-TR-87-8. Watertown, Mass.: U.S. Army Materials Technology Laboratory.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Crashworthiness and Road Safety As the fuel requirements, maintenance, logistics footprint, and weight of Army trucks are reduced, performance criteria such as crashworthiness and road safety must remain the same or be improved. Army trucks spend about 80 percent of their time on highways. The Army must therefore consider not only the safety of the occupants of military vehicles, but also that of the civilian vehicles' occupants. Civilian truck crashes cause disproportionately more serious injuries and fatalities than crashes of other vehicle types because of the mass of the trucks and the high speeds permitted on the roads. The majority of the injuries and fatalities in civilian truck crashes are to the occupants of the vehicles that collided with the trucks. A major concern with heavy military trucks is the aggressivity that results from the vehicle-to-vehicle collisions when there are incompatibilities in the fleet mix. Collision partners are considered to be incompatible if collision deformation and structural characteristics imply that loads are unequally distributed between the vehicles. Possible vehicle-to-vehicle incompatibilities include mismatches of mass (heavy versus light), geometry (bumper height versus door sills), and structure (stiff versus compliant). Mass differences probably dominate heavy-truck aggressivity, and there is no clear corrective action except reduction in vehicle weight. Geometric and structural incompatibilities may be mitigated by design changes related to front-end properties. The development of heavy military trucks should follow the lead of heavy commercial trucks, which are becoming less aggressive, in part by adhering to government-imposed regulations. The most frequent causes of injuries for occupants of large military trucks are rollovers (and concomitant ejection), frontal-impact collisions, and rear-end collisions, with rollovers dominating. Injuries in rollovers are most often due to occupant contact with unpadded interior components such as mounting brackets.24 Special devices necessary for military activities are often installed in trucks and may contribute to safety problems by increasing the number of potentially dangerous contact surfaces. Currently, padding in Army trucks seems to be included for acoustic and thermal reasons, not for safety. Fears of nuclear and biological contamination have reduced the use 24   Simula Technologies. 1999. Enhanced Crash Protection for Occupants of Heavy Tactical Vehicles: Inflatable Restraint Systems and Crew Cab Delethalization Techniques. Report No. TR-99042. Phoenix, Ariz.: Simula Technologies.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks of padding for reasons of safety. Some protection from rollover injuries is offered by ensuring adequate cab structural integrity and by the installation of seat tie downs and retractors designed for large commercial trucks. Countermeasures to make Army trucks safer for their occupants are basically the same as those being considered for commercial trucks: seat belt restraints, air bags, head restraints, and knee bolsters. Such devices should be made part of the bid specifications for Army trucks. It is the policy of the U.S. Army to have trucks that adhere reasonably closely to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) regulations for safety. The Army must also take into account the safety regulations of other countries where U.S. troops are deployed. ROLE OF NEW MATERIALS IN MEETING FUTURE NEEDS Substituting lightweight materials with equivalent or superior functionality in designs for air and ground vehicles is the most promising approach for reducing total system weight . . . [and] vehicle system weight [is] the most important factor in reducing Army After Next fuel demand.25 Advantages of Lightweight Materials The use of lightweight26 materials has the potential to help the Army meet its goals by reducing vehicle weight and fuel consumption; by reducing fuel consumption, the logistics footprint would also be reduced. In addition, some lightweight materials offer the potential for greater corrosion resistance, which would decrease the need for maintenance and lower O&S costs. A recent review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Heavy Vehicle Technologies Program noted that sufficient emphasis had not been placed on "decreasing unloaded vehicle weight by innovative design incorporating high-strength, weight reduction materials."27 High-strength steel, stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum metal matrix composites (MMCs), magnesium, titanium, glass-fiber-reinforced plastic, and carbon-fiber- 25   See note 18 above, p. 8. 26   In the context of this report, "lightweight" refers to materials of high specific strength, which is defined as strength divided by density. 27   National Research Council. 2000. Review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Heavy Vehicle Technologies Program. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. pp. 35.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks reinforced plastic are structural materials that can be substituted for mild steel with considerable weight savings.28 Lightweight materials can play a part in improved truck performance either through the substitution of stronger and/or lighter materials for traditional materials or by enabling novel redesign concepts. The traditional material of choice in Army trucks is carbon steel plate, because of its versatility in application and low cost. Previous efforts at direct materials substitution have had limited results because component redesign is usually necessary to achieve the full weight-savings potential. With the increasing availability of high-performance, low-cost material options and manufacturing technologies, it is now possible to more effectively marry performance and durability with clever, robust design in order to optimize materials use. Although lightweight materials may initially result in higher vehicle procurement costs, significant potential exists for savings in terms of reduced fuel consumption, reduced maintenance, and reduced O&S costs. In addition, there are significant opportunities for the Army to adopt and exploit specialty and niche vehicle-manufacturing practices to achieve greater economy and affordability. Previous Studies on Lightweight Materials for Vehicles The Army’s interest in lightweight materials is not new. In 1982, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Research and Engineering sponsored a study by the National Materials Advisory Board on materials for lightweight military combat vehicles.29 That NRC report reached a number of conclusions regarding the state of materials technology 20 years ago: Advanced materials (composites and new alloys) offered potential for improved performance through significant weight savings; The design and manufacturing base for polymer matrix composites was well developed, and it was realistic to assess their potential for use in combat vehicles; 28   National Research Council. 2001. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Seventh Report. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 29   National Research Council. 1982. Materials for Lightweight Military Combat Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Extensive effort was required to certify new materials for use in combat vehicles because dynamic structural loads are largely unknown, many composites are anisotropic, the combat environment is unique, and manufacturing must be adapted to vehicle requirements; and Maximum benefit from the use of new materials can be realized only if the overall structural design takes advantage of the properties of the new materials—that is, the properties of the advanced material should be incorporated early in the design phase of a new vehicle. In 1993, the National Science Foundation sponsored a report on lightweight materials for the automotive and aircraft industries.30 That report concluded that advances in materials could be applied to improve product performance, quality, and reliability and to permit creative product design. The report stated that common materials needs are for cost-effective, easily manufacturable, lightweight, structurally efficient, strong, environmentally benign, recyclable materials. Materials for automotive applications should be viewed as part of a system, in which appropriate trade-offs can be made. This new paradigm should consider the entire life cycle of a product including manufacturing, transportation, treatment of hazardous by-products, operational use, maintenance, and disposal. The report concluded that computer modeling techniques should be developed to assist in the development and evaluation of product performance and reliability, materials synthesis and processing, and materials fabrication into components to facilitate materials design and selection. In the 1999 NRC report on reducing the Army’s logistics burden, including fuel, one roadmap objective was the use of lightweight materials for air and ground vehicles.31 That study identified the following areas for technology development: distributed modeling and simulation (M&S) environment, materials selection databases, and information resources. Recommended research areas included M&S for materials design, and advanced armor and protection concepts. Therefore, the report concluded, new metrics and strategies are needed for comparing advanced material options and conventional materials for use in new generations of trucks. 30   National Research Council. 1993. Materials Research Agenda for the Automotive and Aircraft Industries. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 31   See note 18 above.

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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT Following this introductory section, Chapter 2 discusses the new materials and processing opportunities that are candidates for use in the manufacture of Army trucks. Chapter 3 describes a variety of barriers to the implementation of new technologies and discusses methods of enabling the insertion of lightweight structural materials. Chapter 4 presents the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on LIghtweight Materials for 21st Century Army Trucks.