Titanium doors to increase soldier safety

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (UPI) — U.S. government scientists say the next generation of combat vehicles will be equipped with titanium alloy doors to provide increased safety for soldiers.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers said the doors would be made using low-cost titanium powders in a non-melt consolidation process they developed that will reduce the amount of energy required and the cost of manufacturing titanium parts from powders by up to 50 percent.

“We recently exhibited the new low-cost titanium alloy door made by ORNL for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which is a next-generation combat vehicle,” said Bill Peter, an ORNL researcher. “By using a titanium alloy for the door, BAE Systems was able to reduce the weight of its vehicle yet, at the same time, decrease the threat of armor-piercing rounds.”

Instead of using conventional melt processing using titanium powders, with the new method the powders remain in their solid form during the entire procedure, Peter said. “This saves a tremendous amount of energy required for processing, greatly reduces the amount of scrap and allows for new alloys and engineered composites,” he said.

The researchers expect lightweight corrosion-resistant titanium alloys to make their way into many other products.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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