Aluminum plays multiple roles in the field of development in the military.
Records showed that as early as 1892, aluminum torpedo boats were used by the French government and in 1896 the US Army made use of aluminum tents, pickets, and canteen. Also in the early 1890s, a 94-inch aluminum was used by the US Navy in an attempt to create a large ship. Both the First and Second World Wars had a massive consumption of aluminum. Military applications, industrial machinery, and even tanks were made out of aluminum. Such that in the second world war, a shift from industrial machines to telecommunications, naval ships, and aerospace crafts uses a lot of aluminum alloys. Innovations and developments in the military use of aluminum are in constant motion throughout the years, Designers have been keen to comply with the standards provided of combat equipment, while not compromising the efficiency of the military machines.
Most common combat equipment that made use of aluminum are; armor, military vehicles, ordnance or artillery, and many more.
Armors of military vehicles have a standard aluminum grade of 5xxx series up until now. Even the aluminum alloys have contributed to the ballistics merit about the angle of impact. Such that the 7xxx has protected all angles. Due to its lightweight nature, aluminum allows mobility for vehicular application. Metal fabrication such as weldability, machinability, and formability are the properties considered for choosing aluminum in military equipment. It must be able to stand strenuous stress from airdrops and special operations across countries. Aluminum alloys, as having high corrosion resistance, are the best for military operations passing through corrosive waters. Also, aluminum has nine times increased rigidity than steel in structure and offers better protection.
Military Vehicles, ever since aluminum have been widely used in the transportation industry. Military vehicles made of aluminum have better mobility, easy maintenance, are fit for air transport, and can pass through corrosive waters. Large bodies of aluminum alloy of 5xxx series, 6061-T6 and 6063-T5 made up of wheeled vehicles for support and supply operation. Bus, trailers, and tankers are welded to 5xxx aluminum alloy. Most often after welding, the aluminum alloy parts are heat treated. Some military vehicles like the aircraft loading trailer use 2014-T6 and some 6061-T6, the trailers for nuclear guns also use the same aluminum alloy with 5083 extrusions. Military vehicles M-102 Trail gun-type 105mm howitzer is mostly made of aluminum, while XM-656 has a chassis made of aluminum. Naval cargo like hydrofoil boats uses 5038 aluminum alloy extrusions. Lastly, the MF AB, rotatable wheeled boat, uses a 5456-H343 sheet.
Guns and artillery, aluminum as a cheaper metal are actively used as ammunition like mines and bombs. There are 20mm round aluminum, conical aluminum nosepiece, and 40mm projectile models. Most of them are made of 2024-T4 and 6061-T4 aluminum alloys. Launchers like M-16 to M-474 superstructure are also made of 7075-T6 aluminum alloys. Even the M-60 machine gun has an aluminum bipod. While the M-77 LAW, formerly known as Bazooka, uses a 6061-T6 extruded aluminum alloy chamber. Also, aluminum casting like aft, center, and nose sections makes up torpedoes and mines.
Other military equipments made of aluminum are bridges and electronic appliances. Ponton bridge is made of 2014-T6 aluminum alloy extrusions. Footbridges also make use of 2014-T6 and 6061-T6 extruded aluminum alloys. AVL bridges are also made of aluminum extrusions to increase movement for military bridging.
As promising as it gets, aluminum has a lot to offer in any industry, even the military area, and here in Yongu we have specialized in the manufacture of aluminum enclosures, aluminum project boxes, aluminum cases, and many more aluminum made products. We are a very innovative company willing to expand our capacity in producing the trustworthy aluminum products you will ever need. Take a look at our website and let us know how we can help you in putting your designs into real-life products.