Also as a result of improved thermal efficiency of the composite shelter, energy requirements are reduced by 25 percent.
Advanced thermoplastic composite materials and processes have recently been developed with the ability to meet or exceed existing structural integrity requirements for many applications.
These technologies offer superior performance and will significantly reduce cost burdens associated with corrosion protection, deterioration, and repair.
They have demonstrated the feasibility of low-cost composite manufacturing processes that enable the affordable production of shelters for military, multi-service, applications.
And, that the physical, mechanical, and structural performance will meet or exceed the requirements for Defense Department as well as commercial applications.
One of the development projects was to design, build, and test a Composite Lightweight Maintenance Shelter that is made to be transported on a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle.
These 8’ x 7’x 5’ shelters house the system equipment, and provide protection from extreme heat, sand storms, common dirt, humidity and rain, while providing personnel with user-friendly working environment.
The composite development hasn’t gone from ideas to production overnight.
Three years in development, the new shelters cost between $30-40,000, depending on the particular requirements requested for each, said Chuck Bauman, lead engineer for Air Force Tactical Shelters here with the 84th Combat Sustainment Group.
“This shelter development was particularly challenging because of the electromagnetic interference requirements,” he emphasized.
“The metallic conductive surfaces present in metal shelters is not there in composite construction, therefore other methods of providing conductive paths had to be created, which was done successfully,” Bauman explained. “It’s an important requirement.”
“The prototype was developed and tested by our shelter program office, in cooperation with a small company (Triton Systems) under a small business innovative research contract,” he said.
Terry Holland, product group manager for Air Force tactical shelters indicated that “One of the shelter industries largest suppliers – AAR Cadillac – has teamed with Triton Systems to make the first production run of the new shelters.”
Holland said the first shelters completed may be used by mobile medical units throughout the world.