Light armoured vehicles (LAVs) can be exposed to various dangerous hazards when used on an active battlefield.

Increasing the safety of military personnel inside the vehicle is of the utmost importance; this can be achieved by tried and tested design choices and procuring advanced protective materials to realise safety objectives.

The Opportunity & Challenge

Last year a company specialising in armour and defence systems contacted Silicone Engineering to assist with producing a vital component inside a light armoured vehicle.

They wanted to explore using a flexible flame retardant material as part of a flooring system. The company’s main focus was to provide a robust flooring system for the LAVs with flame retardant properties and could also aid in vibration reduction and good abrasion resistance.

The solution: kSil® V-0 Soft

Our material engineers suggested using a laminated combination of kSil® V-0 Soft grade sponge sheeting to a glass fibre sheet. Combining the kSil® V-0 Soft sheeting with the glass fibre would enhance the vehicle’s survivability in extreme hazards by providing low smoke and low toxicity and flame resistance. In addition, the glass fibre would give a greater abrasion strength and structural integrity to the entire system.

As a sub-function, the kSil® V-0 closed-cell structure would also aid the vibration reduction, further improving the dampening properties of the flooring system. Following selection, the manufacturing and secondary lamination operations were carried out and then shipped to the customer.

Silicone sponge and silicone solid rubbers are extensively used in military and defence applications due to their fl­ame resistance, low compression set, temperature resistance, and long lifespan.

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