GE Plastics Protect Vehicle Fuel Tanks
The United States Military selects fire-suppression panel featuring Noryl resins from GE Plastics to protect vehicle fuel tanks from exploding.
GE Plastics announced today that the FIRE Panel* from Firetrace Aerospace, which features a wraparound shell made with a proprietary blend of GE’s Noryl* resins, has been selected by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to protect vehicle fuel tanks from exploding when hit by enemy fire. Upon impact, before the fuel tank can be penetrated, the patented FIRE Panel shatters and discharges a dry chemical agent to quickly stop a fire or secondary explosion. GE’s Noryl resins deliver unique mechanical properties, enabling the shell to shatter upon significant impact, yet maintain its integrity under normal conditions including rough terrain.
The FIRE Panel, which has undergone numerous successful tests by the Marine Corps and the Army, has been installed on thousands of Marine Corps Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) trucks and Army Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET).
“As the military strives to improve the safety and survivability of its vehicles, there has been increasing emphasis on protecting the fuel tank,” said Bill Eckholm, president of Firetrace Aerospace. “GE Plastics’ unique materials technology helps our FIRE Panel save lives and equipment by suppressing fires and explosions that either cause direct harm or force troops to leave the safety of their vehicles.”
The proprietary blend of GE’s Noryl resin, developed through a collaboration between GE Plastics and Firetrace Aerospace, is also used in civil applications and provides a combination of properties: light weight to support vehicle fuel efficiency; sufficient impact and chemical resistance to prevent damage under normal vehicle operations; and the ability to propagate the energy of a strong impact throughout the entire panel for uniform release of the fire suppression agent. Specifically, Noryl resins help promote a general shattering of the panel, rather than localized tearing, to help allow complete discharge of the powder.
The GE resin is blow-molded into a three-dimensional shell that wraps around the sides of the fuel tank without impeding vehicle operation. The shell incorporates a number of hollow, horizontal channels, each independently filled with extinguishing powder.
“The lifesaving potential of the FIRE Panel is expected to play a critical role in U.S. military operations,” said Marcos Perello, GE Plastics industry manager, Defense. “GE is proud of our role in developing a material with unique properties that contribute to the success of this vital application.”
For more information on GE’s Noryl resins, please visit the GE Plastics’ website.