Foam & Balsa Humvees - Army Tests Lighter Composites
The U.S. army is going to be testing some lighter composite Humvees. Roadside bombs are the No. one killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq so "a lighter vehicle that rides higher even with added armor might have a greater degree of protection if it runs directly over a bomb." The Army Times reported. "Adding armor weighs a Humvee down and makes it ride lower to the ground." A conventional Humvee weighs between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds.
"The nonmetal Humvee utility vehicle that is 900 pounds lighter than its conventional counterpart so it can carry extra armor to better protect soldiers against roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan," said the Times. "The prototype vehicle's frame and body is made of nonmetal composites — a combination of fiberglass, balsa wood, foam and carbon reinforcements all held together with resin."