The U.S. Army Picatinny Arsenal has awarded Goodrich Corporation a contract for the development of mortar barrel segments incorporating the FyreRoc(R) composite material system. Under the contract, Goodrich will evaluate the performance of its FyreRoc(R) composite technology under live fire conditions when used in 81mm mortar barrels. The 81mm mortar is an indirect fire infantry weapon used by combat ground forces for self-directed fire.
According to Ray Espinosa, Systems Project Engineer at Picatinny, “The inclusion of lightweight carbon/FyreRoc(R) composite in the mortar barrel design could potentially reduce the weight of the current steel 81mm mortar barrel allowing a soldier to more easily carry the weapon into battle.” The Army turned to Goodrich to develop this opportunity based on the unique high temperature capability of the FyreRoc(R) system.
Goodrich started the development of the FyreRoc(R) inorganic resin system in 2000 (patent pending). Originally developed for the needs of U.S. Navy ships, this strong, lightweight material is capable of performing at conditions reaching 1000 degrees Celsius. FyreRoc(R) composite materials were first introduced to the marketplace in 2003 for use in fire-rated commercial wood doors.
The company’s Engineered Polymer Products division in Jacksonville, FL will be performing the research for the U.S. Army. The program is being funded through Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Future Naval Capabilities program. The program is in support of U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army mortar/cannon barrel applications. Initial component fabrication is expected to be complete by the end of August 2004.