Function-Oriented Reactive Structure Design with Smart Materials for Army’s Future Ground Vehicles

A Conceptual Reactive Structure under Blast Load

Objective of this research is to develop an innovative technology for two specific classes of reactive structures with embedded adaptivity: 1) those for vibration and noise control, 2) those for vehicle protection. We are extending the novel reactive composite concept and related simulation and design methodologies developed at MKP Inc. to a more general and reliable technology that can be used to lay out a wide range of reactive composite structures which can be used in the Army’s future ground vehicles programs for various applications. There are three major focuses in the proposed R&D effort. The first one is to develop new and advanced design processes for optimal reactive mechanism designs and distribution of smart material(s) that can be used in specific reactive structures. The second focus is to develop a unique CAE tool for simulation and design of innovative reactive structures. The third focus is to conduct physical prototyping and experiments for proof-of-concept of the new technology. Note that results from the above tasks will be combined to achieve a practical, manufacturable, and optimum reactive structure or structures. With the new technology developed, innovative reactive structure concepts that may have never existed before can be developed – resulting in a wide range of potential applications in Army’s future ground vehicle programs.

Innovative reactive structures will be direct outcomes of the new design methodology, covering a wide range of different applications. The next phase of this program will extend the design of smart reactive structure concepts to cover manufacturability, cost issues, and durability considerations. The design methodologies and advanced smart reactive structure concepts will provide direct benefits to U.S. future Army ground vehicle programs. Applications in the commercial sector will include improved comfort and safety for the automotive and transportation industry along with reduced weight and fuel consumption.