ARRIS announced a project with the U.S. Army’s Michigan-based Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (DEVCOM GVSC) to demonstrate vehicle weight reductions through part consolidation, topology optimization, and an aligned continuous carbon fiber composite structure. The California-based manufacturing company works with high-performance composites in mass-market products, transportation, and industrial applications.
This initial project will use ARRIS’ scalable Additive Molding manufacturing technology platform. The project is being contracted through LIFT, a public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, industry leaders, and academia.
Army vehicles have been increasing in weight over time due to new technology and safety components for soldiers, and this partnership is part of the Army’s effort to advance the use of cutting-edge technologies that enable high-strength, lighter, more fuel-efficient tactical vehicles with superior mobility and protection. By replacing an assembly of metal components in crew seats with a single continuous fiber-reinforced composite (CFRC) structure, ARRIS will demonstrate the advantages of its manufacturing technology for broader vehicle applications.
“The real significance of a weight savings approach for vehicle design depends on its broader applicability. High-end, high-cost vehicles have lightweighting approaches that don’t translate to mass production and cost-sensitive industries. ARRIS’ ability to combine lightweight materials, lightweight structural designs, and cost-effective manufacturing is an important set of capabilities to drive LIFT strategic objectives,” said Nigel Francis, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at LIFT, a Department of Defense manufacturing innovation institute. “Our collaboration with ARRIS and the Army is an important step in lightweighting vehicle structures for the military and the competitiveness of the U.S. automotive industry as a whole.”
“Working with LIFT and the Army to bring together advanced composites and advanced structural design in a key vehicle subassembly is an important step in advancing vehicle architectures,” said Ethan Escowitz, CEO and Founder at ARRIS. “This pioneering work with LIFT will pave the way for broader adoption of lightweighting, and realizing the associated performance, efficiency, and sustainability benefits.”