A document describes a concept for fabricating lightweight armored doors for the Army’s high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs). Essentially, the concept is to reinforce high-hard (HH) steel armored doors used on some HMMWVs with a laminated, woven, high-tensile-strength glassfiber/ polyester-matrix composite that has performed well as armor material in previous military applications. A fabrication procedure for implementing the concept, described in the document, can be summarized as follows:

  • Prepregs (sheets of the woven glass fibers pre-impregnated with the uncured polyester resin) are cut to sizes and shapes to fit their assigned place in the door.
  • Cut prepregs are stacked as multiple plies to obtain the required thickness.
  • Using the HH steel door panel as a mandrel or mold, the prepreg stack is vacuum-bagged and cured into the final composite form by heating according to a prescribed temperature- versus-time schedule.
  • The HH steel door panel and the composite panel are prepared for adhesive bonding, then assembled with a polysulfide adhesive, then vacuum-bagged for room-temperature or optional elevatedtemperature curing of the adhesive.
  • Other steps (e.g., installation of weatherstripping) in the ordinary fabrication of the door are completed.

This work was done by James P. Wolbert and David M. Spagnuolo of the Army Research Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.defensetechbriefs.com/tsp under the Manufacturing & Prototyping category. ARL-0016


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Fabrication of Lightweight Armored Doors for HMMWVs

(reference ARL-0016) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the August, 2007 issue of Defense Tech Briefs Magazine.

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