Alcoa Defense, a unit of Alcoa, has developed technology that will make the structure for the U.S. Army's Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator 10 percent lighter.
A lighter military vehicle cuts fuel consumption by 6 percent to 7 percent. Those lighter vehicles also mean that the military will have to put fewer troops at risk driving fuel convoys. Alcoa was appointed to the Army project in February.
Alcoa's aluminum structure borrows technology from high-performance cars and aerospace. Alcoa supplied the aluminum chassis, cab structure and underbody armor for the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED). Ricardo Inc. was the lead engineering contractor.
The project to cook up FED was launched in 2008. The idea was to develop a prototype vehicle that could become more fuel efficient and maintain performance.
Alcoa provided the following:
- Aluminum blast and brush shield, which protects the underside of the vehicle. The shield uses a high-strength alloy that doesn't crack. The alloy, 2040 aluminum armor, hasn't been used on a vehicle before.
- A cab that integrates directly into chassis modules to reduce frame components.
- Various aluminum forgings and fasteners as well as specialized welding techniques.