Concurrent Technologies Corp. has developed a friction-stir welding machine that can fabricate lightweight vehicle hulls as part of the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle prototype program.
CTC is one of the six Defense Automotive Technologies Consortium members that teamed up to submit a proposal for the service branch's NGCV project in 2016, SAE said Thursday.
PJ McMullen, CTC's manager of advanced technologies, said the machine has a longitudinal stir-head travel of over 26 feet and can weld an aluminum hull 3.5 inches thick in a single pass.
Underbody blast tests of two prototype hulls produced through the machine did not result in fatalities or blast intrusions.
Michele Stosick, CTC’s senior proposal lead, noted that the DATC membership has resulted in quicker agency response times and improved flexibility for the company.
The 190-member DATC was formed through a partnership between the Army’s Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and SAE International’s Industry Technologies Consortia in 2016.
The group, some 70 percent of which consists of nontraditional companies, is focused on cybersecurity, vehicular safety, autonomous vehicles, propulsion systems, active suspension technologies and energy storage.