Alcoa [AA] Oct. 10 said its latest armor is now specified for use by the Army Research Lab (ARL) for use in U.S. military vehicles.

Alcoa’s ArmX® 5456-H151 armor plate meets the U.S. military’s highest performance standards for strength, blast absorption, and ballistics resistance for armored combat vehicles where weldability is a material requirement, the company said in a statement.

Army FED ALPHA With New Alcoa Armor
Photo: U.S. Army

Alcoa aluminum  and armor have been used by the military for decades in vehicles ranging from the Bradley Fighting Vehicle to the Humvee.

“Alcoa’s military-grade aluminum alloys and products have helped the U.S. military protect troops for generations,” said Mark Vrablec, President of Global Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial Rolled Products at Alcoa. “Alcoa’s latest innovation allows military vehicle manufacturers to continue building with the highest level of durability and troop protection through welding processes when assembling the vehicle, or performing repairs in the field.

The new armor product offers more than 20 percent improvement in strength compared with the baseline 5083-H131 weldable armor plate, as well as improved ballistic and blast performance, Vrablec said.

Alcoa’s 5456-H151 armor plate, formerly referred to as CR56, joins the family of Alcoa next-generation ArmX® brand armor solutions. The armor plate was developed by scientists at the Alcoa Technical Center, collaborating with metallurgists and production engineers at Alcoa Davenport Works.

The armor was tested and has been successfully demonstrated on the Army’s Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator vehicle, known as FED ALPHA, a prototype vehicle that Alcoa helped develop to demonstrate lightweight, fuel-efficient technologies while maintaining vehicle durability and troop safety. FED ALPHA’s lightweight aluminum structure makes the vehicle up to 10 percent lighter than a comparably sized steel vehicle and reduces fuel consumption by six to seven percent.