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The Benefits of Microporous Insulation in Military/Defense Applications
General Introduction:
Because the international military/defense industry is one of the continually fastest growing technological markets in the world, materials and components are continually being forced to evolve to accommodate the ever-changing environments associated with modern conflict scenarios. As a result, there is also an increasing emphasis being placed upon making weapons, weapons delivery systems, and the people who operate them more efficient, stealthy, and “intelligent”. Such can often only be accomplished by resorting to increasingly more exotic materials and innovations in technology, but microporous insulation systems engineered by ThermoDyne are consistently able to meet the unique challenges associated with these environments while simultaneously providing considerably higher value, performance and reliability than conventional insulation systems and providers.
In modern battlefield scenarios, air power is playing an ever-increasing role in scouting and surveillance, ground attack, close air support and air superiority. However, as anti-aircraft weapons technology improves, and also as aircraft are being required to be increasingly more versatile across a number of roles, issues related to increasing the overall performance of new and existing aircraft through weight reduction, improved efficiency and space consolidation (to allow for systems such as internal weapons bays) are becoming more important. Microporous insulation, therefore, is the best solution for such needs as it performs superbly in a variety of temperature extremes, can be fabricated to be extraordinarily resistant to condensation, abrasion and vibration, provides the absolute maximum of thermal efficiency within minimum space and weight parameters, and can act as an effective heat shield or fire barrier, even in environments where a fire may reach elevated temperatures due to the presence of high performance aircraft fuel.
Although today’s naval vessels and coordinating support systems are increasingly capable of greater and greater technological feats, they, like their ground force counterparts, are being required to operate within greater constraints of performance, space and weight. As a result, microporous insulation systems are ideal for use as fire-barriers in applications such as bulk-heads, deck-heads and crew quarters, as well as insulating systems for the nuclear powerplants of most modern day nuclear powered fleet vessels. In addition, as they are already used in a number of other industry conventional and auxiliary power units, microporous insulation systems are easily adaptable to modern naval vessel and the diesel or battery units.
As aircraft and missile systems become more adept at hunting and killing ground based threats, army and ground units are becoming more and more sensitive to their need for maneuverability, speed, stealth profile and energy/fuel efficiency in order to achieve long range, unsupported penetration and survivability. As a result, any decreases in the weight of the necessary insulation to the overall system for a ground, cavalry or supporting unit’s vehicles correspondingly improve the vehicles’ engines/powerplants’ efficiency, or allow the unit to allocate the weight elsewhere to more vital systems such as weapons, armor or electronics. The same is true with the space savings associated with microporous systems, and allows the ground vehicles and their components some additional flexibility to either be made smaller, or open up space for additional systems which may be of utility. Microporous insulation systems are therefore the best insulation systems to accomplish both goals simultaneously, and are the ideal solution for the challenges continually presented to today’s ground operating forces.
With increasing emphasis being placed on “smart” munitions that are capable of greater and greater feats of accurately targeting and adjusting to their targets while en-route from the launching mechanism to the target (or targets), there is also an increasing need for additional avionics and electronics hardware to be present on the unit itself, as well as insulation systems that are capable of protecting those hardware systems from the heat associated with the propulsion unit, air friction, and other heat sources. In addition, because munitions are continually shrinking in relative size while multiplying in their overall effectiveness, space and weight of both the overall system and its individual components are continually increasing as factors as well. Only microporous insulation systems provide the flexibility necessary for such applications, and present themselves continually to be the thermal management solution of choice for today’s demanding munitions standards.
How do ThermoDyne’s Microporous Insulation systems fit into the equation?
The Benefits of ThermoDyne’s Microporous Insulation Systems:
Weight Conservation:
ThermoDyne’s microporous insulation systems were originally developed for use by the military and related government programs in which space and weight conservation were paramount issues without compromising thermal performance. As a result, they are ideal for applications in which no additional weight can be added, or in which overall or system weight needs to be reduced. Typically, ThermoDyne’s microporous insulation systems can be utilized at a factional percentage (up to 50 – 75% less) of conventional insulation systems (including ceramic fiber blanket and similar products), and often results in either overall weight savings or greater weight allotment and distribution for other or additional critical systems.
Thermal Management:
ThermoDyne microporous insulation systems are among the most thermally efficient insulation materials in the world, possessing thermal conductivity values even lower than those of still air. Because they are also capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of 1800°F (1000°C), and further due to the fact that they are extremely resistant to wear, thermal shock and environmental hostility, they have been utilized in military/defense related applications across all armed services.
Space Conservation:
As mentioned above, ThermoDyne’s microporous insulation systems were originally developed for use by the military and related government programs in which space and weight conservation were paramount issues without compromising thermal performance. In today’s military and defense related applications, where useable space for weapons, electronics and related systems are considered to be critical, ThermoDyne’s microporous insulation systems may be used at a fraction of the space requirements of conventional insulation systems without sacrificing (and in many instances, even still improving) the thermal performance of the system up to 75% of the necessary thickness of other conventional insulation systems.
Fire Protection:
ThermoDyne microporous insulation materials are ideally suited for fire protection applications since they are able to withstand temperatures above 1800°F (1000°C), and may be easily fabricated to form separation curtains, pipe and/or assembly wraps, or even clothing and clothing linings. They are therefore well suited both for passive fire prevention systems, as well as active firefighting measures, and can be employed in a variety of standard and customized/engineered forms to suit the particulars of a fire protection application.
Possible Uses of ThermoDyne’s Microporous Insulation Systems:
• Engine nacelles
• Thrust reversers
• Fire Protection
• Flight Data Recorders
• Auxiliary Power Units
• Fire Protection
• Nuclear Powerplants and Shielding
• Auxiliary Power Units
• Repair Technician protective clothing
• Chemical/Biological “Sniffer” units
• Engine Heat Shielding
• Firewall and Fire Protection
• Auxiliary Power Units
• Thermal Batteries
• Avionics Housings
• Data Recording Equipment
• Firewall and Fire Protection (e.g. Ammo Boxes)
• General insulation for KEM and high velocity smart-rounds
• General insulation between boiler/engine and guiding electronics for KEM (high velocity), torpedo, general “smart” munitions, and launching systems.
For more information about ThermoDyne’s microporous product lines and/or any of its other products or services, please contact the ThermoDyne Sales/Marketing team at toll-free: 866.741.5458, or alternate 574.522.3606.
Notes and References:
Calculations assume steady state, are provided for comparison purposes only, and are not intended for design specifications as individual scenarios for material use may vary.
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