Large Aluminum Enclosures Protect Our Military Vehicles

large aluminum enclosures
December 16, 2020

Metal vehicle armor for military vehicles is vital to the safety of personnel, and to the durability and longevity of these important vehicles. The personnel inside of military vehicles rely on large aluminum enclosures to withstand impacts from shrapnel, bullets, shells, and other enemy fire, and from environmental risk like broken turbine blades impacting the airframe of an aircraft. 

Here are a few examples of where large aluminum enclosures are used in military vehicles and their benefits:

Military Aircraft

Helicopters and military aircraft face many exterior elements, including the high altitudes and pressures that can impact performance and safety. Aluminum armor protects the aircraft from these elements, as well as withstanding weapons fire to provide ballistic protection to the craft and its crew.

Aircraft and helicopters are very weight sensitive, one reason why aluminum is an excellent material for protection. The weight of the craft and its armor also impacts agility and maneuverability in flight and under fire, which is another reason aluminum makes sense. It is lightweight but strong and durable, so craft and crew are able to fly longer, preserve fuel, maximize payload capacity, and remain protected in flight.

Personnel Carriers

Armored personnel carriers are a staple of military vehicles, transporting people and equipment in combat zones. While these are not considered fighting vehicles and are not designed to provide direct fire support in combat, they need to be created in a way that protects their valuable cargo. Though these carriers are armed for self defense, their main purpose is to get people and equipment from one point to another, which is why the armor is so key.

Armored personnel carriers need to be agile and mobile, transporting as quickly as possible. They may even be used as armored ambulances when personnel are wounded and must be evacuated, again a situation calling for speed.

As with many other military vehicles, weight is an important consideration. Many armored personnel carriers rely on aluminum for protection, as – similar to aircraft armoring – aluminum is a durable but lightweight metal.

Autonomous/Unmanned Military Vehicles

While the benefits of armor are clear for manned military vehicles, large aluminum enclosures have an important role in protecting autonomous or unmanned military vehicles and their missions as well. Even if there is not a human operator on the ground, these vehicles do vital work and need to be protected from heat, vibration, shock, and impact.

Large aluminum enclosures in unmanned vehicles protect interior mechanisms and components. These enclosures are typically used to defend the processors that keep unmanned vehicles moving, offering protection from dust, water, damage, and extreme temperatures. Unmanned vehicles may be deployed in sand, saltwater, ice and snow, or oppressive heat, and large aluminum enclosures ensure that corrosion and abrasion will not hinder important work.

These enclosures also ensure that unmanned vehicles can move quietly, reducing acoustic noise so as to increase safe exposure time and improve combat performance. Similarly, enclosures defend against electromagnetic interference.

The computers in unmanned military vehicles are vital, and ruggedized enclosures ensure that their critical missions continue uninterrupted.

Large aluminum enclosures for military useBenefits of Large Aluminum Enclosures

Large aluminum enclosures are essential for providing military vehicles and personnel with the safeguarding they deserve, and the material properties of aluminum make that protection possible. Aluminum often goes overlooked in its usefulness as an engineering material, but it possesses a number of properties that make it an indispensable component for our world. It is particularly important for military vehicles because it needs to be lightweight. Aluminum is a material strong enough to offer protection, without a high cost and without the weight addition of materials like steel. It is important for any metal fabricator or manufacturer working with military clients to understand considerations like these, as well as to meet the specific needs of these highly regulated industries.

Four traits in particular stand out that make aluminum the right material for large enclosures, and as we’ll see, each is vitally important for the protection of our troops. 

LIGHTWEIGHT

As the 13th element on the periodic table, aluminum is particularly low-density, making it especially lightweight for its strength. This is especially important for armored vehicles, as each pound of weight  results in increased fuel consumption and weighs down vehicles at a time when they must be optimally mobile for combat situations. The lightweight strength of aluminum enables military vehicles to move safely without getting bogged down. 

CORROSION – RESISTANT

Aluminum oxidizes when exposed to the air, forming a protective barrier against corrosive elements. The result is a material that can withstand damaging factors in the environment such as extreme temperatures, sand, wind, and chemical exposure. This makes large aluminum enclosures ideal for housing military vehicles and personnel, as these must be kept safe from the harsh conditions common to the areas where they are most frequently deployed. The corrosion-resistance of aluminum protects American personnel and their cargo from the harsh surroundings to which they’re exposed. 

EMI PROTECTION

Many military vehicles such as UAVs possess sophisticated electrical components, which can be compromised by electromagnetic interference. Aluminum is not only strong and corrosion-resistant enough to provide the physical protection that military vehicles require, but its conductivity enables it to shield their electronics as well. This makes large aluminum enclosures especially useful in cases where EMI could damage equipment functionality.   

LOW COST

While it is certainly true that no price is too great to protect our military, achieving that objective at minimal cost is vital. The relative abundance of aluminum makes it a cost-effective material for use in many engineering applications, especially in housing structures such as large aluminum enclosures. Aluminum provides the strength and durability needed for military-grade protection at an affordable price tag.

Working with NAMF and NAPM

The low-cost durability and protection offered by aluminum make it the material of choice for many military applications, and while large aluminum enclosures can provide this security, it takes more than material to deliver such a safeguard. Extensive expertise is needed not just in the materials sector, but also in the custom manufacture and fabrication industries, and deep knowledge of military applications is required as well. The New Age companies are experienced military partners. We have such expertise, and are licensed and approved to handle high-profile military contracts. As a full-service custom aluminum manufacturer, we handle a wide array of highly specific military contracts involving large aluminum enclosures and many other specialized projects, too. Our large aluminum enclosures meet military specifications and requirements, and our companies work under required certifications and registrations to accept government, military, defense, and aerospace work as an approved vendor. 

Working with a vendor like the New Age companies ensures that regulatory compliance and other vital details of procurement are managed well in advance of your needs. We are approved suppliers to some of the top companies in these industries, and have special process approvals for some organizations like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. We understand how important it is to procure large aluminum enclosures from not just a certified and approved vendor, but a vendor with experience and expertise in the industry, too. We have long been valued partners in government, military, defense, and aerospace metal fabricating and manufacturing, creating large aluminum enclosures and other important military vehicle features.

Whatever your need for aluminum armoring or parts for the defense and aerospace industries, you can rely on our team of experts. Contact us to learn more about our large aluminum enclosures and other metal fabricating and manufacturing for these important purposes.

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