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Low-cost lightweight track pins for tracked vehicles



OBJECTIVE: Design and build optimal track pins for tracked vehicles which reduce cost and weight while improving system. Manufacturing techniques and materials will be investigated and/or developed which enable variation in wall thickness and outer diameter of the track pins. Approaches will be established to determine as well as optimal pin geometries will be built which improve the system (rubber) fatigue performance without reducing the track pin fatigue life. 

DESCRIPTION: Previously due to constraints, track pin designs have been carried over from previous platforms and integrated into new vehicles. The design and manufacturing of track pins have essentially had only minor evolutions since the 1960s, and consequentially manufacturing concepts developed in the intervening years have not been applied. 

PHASE I: PHASE I: This Phase shall consist of the following: a) Demonstrate the feasibility of producing a demonstration of a low-cost, lightweight track pin and shoe system by focusing on new manufacturing methods that have been developed over the last 30 years to achieve the lower cost and weight targets which allows for the design envelope to be opened to new geometry (ID and OD) as well as new materials which previously would not be considered due to lost material from machining. b) This system shall be interchangeable with the current system and meet the same performance criteria. c) Identify, with Governmental concurrence, the most technical feasible solution from above M&S predictions. d) Develop initial concept design of equipment and components required to perform the best solution identified above. If commercially available solution that is relevant to military application this step does not need to be performed. e) Provide a plan for practical deployment of the proposed solution identified above. f) Determine the commercial merit of the proposed solution to include estimated equipment, component and operation costs.  

PHASE II: The purpose of this effort is to design and develop a lightweight, cost informed prototype lightweight track pin and track components for a military combat vehicle. The track pin geometry Is highly constrained based on the sprocket / end connector, road wheel / center guide, and track shoe body / rubber bushing. Where it is unconstrained is the area that will be focused on. a) Based on Phase I solution, design a prototype system to develop a complete M&S prediction model for the proposed solution b) Produce prototype hardware based on Phase I solution identified c) Fabricate multiple samples for characterization and testing d) Demonstrate the prototype in accordance with the demo success criteria developed in Phase I. 

PHASE III: Commercialize the design that has been developed and tested for use on Abrams, AMPV, Bradley or PIM. Use of new or emerging manufacturing technologies will enable growth in knowledge of those technologies for ground vehicle systems (transition from aerospace and/or automotive). 


1: Lightweight MBT Track Pin Development - ADA394449 Corporate Author: DWA COMPOSITE SPECIALTIES INC CHATSWORTH CA Personal Author(s): Nowitzky, Albin M. Full Text :

2:  Analysis of Armoured Vehicle Track Loads and Stresses, with Considerations on Alternative Track Materials - ADA219397 Corporate Author: MATERIALS RESEARCH LABS ASCOT VALE (AUSTRALIA) Personal Author(s): Keays, R. H. Full Text :

3:  Lightweight Combat Vehicle S and T Campaign - AD1010791 Corporate Author: U.S. Army TARDEC/Ground System Survivability Warren United States Personal Author(s): Polsen,Erik

4:  Krogsrud,Lynne

5:  Carter,Robert

6:  Oberle,William

7:  Haines,Christopher

8:  Littlefield,Andrew Full Text :

KEYWORDS: Lightweight, Track Pin, Variable Wall Thickness, Variable Diameter, Fatigue Optimization, Manufacturing Processes, Rubber Fatigue, Metal Fatigue 


Andrew Kruz 

(586) 282-4322 

David Ostberg 

(586) 282-6980 

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