WASHINGTON The U.S. Army has for months been searching for ways to improve armor on vehicles that have been a prime target for improvised explosives and roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A requirement for lightweight ground vehicles is the ability to join different materials when adding armor. The Army has launched a research effort under its small business innovation program to find new ways to join different materials.
One approach is called nanofoil, which is designed to precisely control the instantaneous release of heat for joining applications. The creator of the patented technology, Reactive Nanotechnologies Inc. (RNT) (Hunt Valley, Md.), said it is using program funds to research what it calls "reactive multilayer joining" of silicon carbide and titanium.
The company touts the joining technology as significantly improving existing soldering and brazing methods that would be used to attach armor to Army vehicles.
RNT said Tuesday (July 11) it has received an additional $500,000 in phase-two Army research funding on top of an initial award of $725,000.
RNT claims nanofoil creates bonds as much as 100 percent stronger than current epoxy technology. The company also said it is pursuing approaches such as metal-ceramic combinations.
Nanofoil technology has also been used in chip packaging and thermal management applications.
The Army is investigating other approaches to protecting exposed troops from roadside bombs. The Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center recently awarded a $730,000 small business contract to Liuman Technologies (Okemos, Mich.) to develop composite armors to protect troops against blast attacks.