By Cameron Chai
Kyle A. Crum, Technology Manager for Alcoa Defense, has presented a paper on the use of aluminum alloys in modern naval designs at the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) show held in Arlington, Virginia.
The paper describes that new aluminum alloys have the capability to offer enhanced survivability, protection, durability and strength along with improved fuel efficiency, maneuverability and speed. This makes the aluminum an ideal material for modern naval designs.
The major feature required for any defense application is survivability. The presentation also included ballistic performance of the company’s newest defense alloys, including ArmX 7085 and ArmX 7039. The test results presented at the event revealed that ArmX 7085 has nearly 14% better performance than 7039 alloy and 24% higher performance than 6061 against armor piercing (AP) risks. In addition, ArmX Blast Armor and ArmX AP Armor perform better than 5083 and 6061 alloys against fragmented simulated particles (FSP) threats. The enhanced performance offered by Alcoa’s new defense alloys and abolition of myths related to naval incidents have stimulated better understanding of the potential of aluminum for naval applications.
Recently, the U.S. Navy has used aluminum alloy in its newest ships: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Joint High-Speed Vessel (JHSV). The LCS Independence seaframe has utilized over one million pounds of aluminum alloys in each ship, which is marked as one of the world’s largest uses of aluminum.