APPLICATION OF LIGHTWEIGHTING TECHNOLOGY
TO MILITARY AIRCRAFT, VESSELS, AND VEHICLES
Committee on Benchmarking the Technology and Application of Lightweighting
National Materials and Manufacturing Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This is a report of work supported by Contract No. W911NF-08-D-0005, DO# 2, between the Department of Defense and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
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COMMITTEE ON BENCHMARKING THE TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATION OF LIGHTWEIGHTING
L. CATHERINE BRINSON, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Chair
JOHN ALLISON, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JULIE CHEN, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
DAVID R. CLARKE, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
BRADFORD COWLES, Pratt & Whitney (retired), Tolland, Connecticut
GEORGE T. (“RUSTY”) GRAY III, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
ERIC GREENE, Eric Greene Associates, Annapolis, Maryland
WESLEY L. HARRIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
MANISH MEHTA, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Ann Arbor, Michigan
GREGORY B. OLSON, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
CHARLES SAFF, The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri
DARREL R. TENNEY, NASA Langley Research Center (retired), Hampton, Virginia
FRANCIS W. ZOK, University of California, Santa Barbara
MADELINE WOODRUFF, Study Director
DENNIS CHAMOT, Acting Director, National Materials and Manufacturing Board
RICKY D. WASHINGTON, Administrative Coordinator
LAURA TOTH, Senior Program Assistant
HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Financial Associate
NATIONAL MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING BOARD
ROBERT H. LATIFF, R. Latiff Associates, Alexandria, Virginia, Chair
DENISE F. SWINK, Independent Consultant, Germantown, Maryland, Vice Chair
PETER R. BRIDENBAUGH, NAE, ALCOA (retired), Boca Raton, Florida
VALERIE M. BROWNING, ValTech Solutions, LLC, Port Tobacco, Maryland
YET-MING CHIANG, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
PAUL CITRON, NAE, Medtronic, Inc. (retired), Minnetonka, Minnesota
GEORGE T. (RUSTY) GRAY II, Los Alamos National Laboratories, Los Alamos, New Mexico
CAROL A. HANDWERKER, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
THOMAS S. HARTWICK, Independent Consultant, Snohomish, Washington
SUNDARESAN JAYARAMAN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
DAVID W. JOHNSON, JR., NAE, Stevens Institute of Technology, Bedminster, New Jersey
THOMAS KING, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
MICHAEL F. McGRATH, Analytic Services, Inc., Arlington, Virginia
NABIL NASR, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester, New York
PAUL S. PEERCY, NAE, University of Wisconsin-Madison
ROBERT C. PFAHL, JR., International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, Herndon, Virginia
VINCENT J. RUSSO, Aerospace Technologies Associates, LLC, Dayton, Ohio
ROBERT E. SCHAFRIK, GE Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio
KENNETH H. SANDHAGE, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
HAYDN WADLEY, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
STEVEN WAX, Independent Consultant, Reston, Virginia
DENNIS CHAMOT, Acting Director
ERIK B. SVEDBERG, Senior Program Officer
RICKY D. WASHINGTON, Executive Assistant
HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Financial Associate
LAURA TOTH, Program Assistant
Lightweighting is a concept well known to structural designers and engineers in applications from laptops to bicycles to automobiles to buildings and airplanes. Reducing the weight of structures can provide many advantages, including increased energy efficiency, better design, improved usability, and better coupling with new, multifunctional features. At the same time, the methods needed to achieve implementation of lightweighting are not well understood. And although lightweighting is a challenge in commercial structures, the special demands of military vehicles significantly stress the already complex process.
It is in this context that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), through Reliance 21,1 requested that the National Research Council (NRC) conduct a study, under the auspices of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board, to assess the current state of lightweighting implementation in air, sea, and land vehicles and recommend ways to improve the use of lightweight materials and lightweighting solutions. Appointed by the NRC, the Committee on Benchmarking the Technology and Application of Lightweighting comprised members chosen for their expertise in materials (including ceramics, polymers, metals, and composites); use of materials in air, sea, and land transport vehicles; systems engineering; and technology assessment, economics, and transfer. Short biographies of the committee members are provided in Appendix A. The committee’s statement of task is given in Chapter 1, along with the committee’s interpretation of its task and a description of how it carried out its work.
The committee’s work was aided greatly by a number of people, including the DoD’s Reliance 21 Materials and Processing Team and the experts who took the time to speak to the committee: Bruno Barthelemy, Gene Camponeschi, Julie Christodoulou, John Deloach, Lisa Prokurat Franks, John Gill, Roger Halle, Robert Hathaway, Charles Kuehmann, James Malas, Suveen Mathaudhu, Mark Middione, Jim Ogonowski, Robert Rapson, and Robert Sielski. Appendix B lists the presentations made to the committee.
My personal thanks go to the entire complement of committee members for their outstanding expertise, limitless enthusiasm, and dedicated efforts in discussing the vast amount of information on lightweighting that we received and in writing the report. I am particularly grateful to Frank Zok and Brad Cowles for their exceptional dedication and vision at key points in the process. They served as unofficial committee co-chairs, providing leadership to see the report through to the final version. We are all grateful to Madeline Woodruff, a senior program officer in the NRC’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, who served tirelessly as study director and assisted
1 Reliance 21 is a management process developed by the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) that involves the science and technology (S&T) executives of all the military components under the aegis of the DDR&E. All the DoD and military service S&T organizations prepare biennial S&T strategic plans that are informed by and harmonized with an overarching DoD S&T strategic plan.
the committee in the preparation of its report under the direction of Dennis Chamot, acting director, National Materials and Manufacturing Board. The study benefited greatly from the work and advice of Janice Mehler, associate executive director, Report Review Committee. Special appreciation is expressed to Daniel Talmage, who helped with the preparation of the report during the final stage of the project, and to Laura Toth and Ricky D. Washington for assistance with meeting arrangements and communications with the committee.
L. Catherine Brinson, Chair
Committee on Benchmarking the Technology
and Application of Lightweighting
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
Thanks go to the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report:
William F. Baker (NAE), Skidmore, Owings & Merrill,
Jay Baron, Center for Automotive Research,
Charles N. Calvano, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School,
W. Peter Cherry (NAE), Independent Consultant,
Donald U. Gubser, Naval Research Laboratory,
Elizabeth A. Holm, Sandia National Laboratories,
Paul J. Kern (NAE), The Cohen Group,
Richard R. Paul, Independent Consultant,
Richard L. Rumpf, Rumpf Associates International, Inc.,
Mark Schaeffer, Mantech SRS,
Robert E. Schafrik, GE Aircraft Engines,
Haydn Wadley, University of Virginia, and
Ben Wang, Florida State University.
Although these reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committee’s findings or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review was overseen by R. Steven Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and institution.
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