Aluminium Provides Perfect Solution for Military Vehicle Manufacture
Recent military experiences and surveys amongst international military vehicle builders identify an ever-increasing need for military vehicle solutions to be reliable, light weight and flexible with low through-life operating costs.
Reliable, light weight and flexible, aluminium is a material which presents the perfect solution!
SAG Alutech – a company of the SAG Motion Group knows how to meet these market demands. Based on a long and successful history of producing and processing aluminium, SAG Alutech started about 30 years ago serving the commercial and specialist vehicles industry with its aluminium products.
Annual quantities reached their peak with about 500.000 fuel and hydraulic tanks, and 256.000 aluminium air pressure tanks being produced for DaimlerChrysler, Iveco, MAN, DAF, Scania, Volvo, Renault VI., Isuzu and Hino, and 362.000 air suspension system reservoirs for the passenger car industry.
Recently SAG Alutech successfully enlarged the product range to service the military sector with its high quality products. High customer demands for reliability and product quality are the key factors for SAG Alutech’s success in the business.
WEIGHT AND MOBILITY – ALUMINIUM 50 – 70 % WEIGHT SAVINGS VERSUS STEEL
It goes without saying that high quality steel is a requisite component for special purpose vehicles for military use. Nevertheless, weight plays an increasing role even in this heavy and extreme operating area. The use of intelligent aluminium solutions allows 50–70% weight savings versus the use of parts made in steel. Less weight allows a positive impact on mobility and flexibility of the military vehicle.
The advantages of a decreased weight are easy to understand – less fuel consumption, faster and more flexible operational mobility in the military environment, more payload for sophisticated equipment or crew and more payload for the transportation of aircrafts.
RELIABILITY AND MAINTENANCE
Although military equipment is designed for warfare – active military operation is not the rule. In both peace and war the vehicle has to be ‘fit for use’ at any time. Therefore, reliability is vital.
Experience and surveys identify a bad performance of vehicles which have been in operation for five or more years. Very often rust is the reason for the vehicles failure – a tiny piece of rust in a fuel or air brake system is able to stop the operation before it has even begun.
Aluminium is reliable and does not corrode – a crucial advantage it has over materials. Furthermore, the lack of corrosion results in less service and maintenance requirements, therefore lower life-time-costs. This has prompted many military vehicle owners to substitute steel fuel and air pressure tanks with aluminium ones.
CUSTOMER DEMANDS AND PRODUCT DESIGN
The increasing complexity of special purpose vehicles requires an increasing cooperation of vehicle and components engineers. SAG Alutech’s R&D team is used to work professional with state of the art CAD software and data interchange in order to realize a professional and nearly on-line cooperation according to the customer demands.
Very often during the engineering process of new military vehicles the fuel tank is one of the last designed and decided parts. A quick, flexible and nearly on-line space optimised tank development based on intensive data interchange between supplier and vehicle builder is required followed by a rapid prototyping and product testing. The latest military projects have shown that Alutech is able to match these requirements perfectly.