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Polymer Case Studies

Thermal Energy Management for the FMTV Headliner Program

Description of the Request:

A design engineering firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan contacted Polymer Technologies, Inc. (PTI) to report they needed help designing thermal energy management insulation materials for the army's Family of Multipurpose Tactical Vehicles (FMTV trucks). Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan were becoming ill from the heat inside the vehicles. This was due to the lack of insulation materials in the all metal cabs.

Insulation Material Solution:

Following initial thermal energy management testing, it was determined the heat of the cab was radiant energy from the sun that was penetrating the roof of the cab and not excess engine heat as had been suspected.

In commercial truck cabs, interior trim panels made from foams or fibrous composites are common thermal and acoustical insulation treatments. However, military trucks lack the space for bulkhead liners and the durability challenges far exceed that of commercial vehicles. The FMTV cabs
carried other major design challenges. No holes could be tapped into the metal structure of the cab due to concerns for rust - a serious problem in all military vehicles. Additionally, any treatment
package had to be sealed from moisture contamination and had to be easy to install, remove, and
re-install in the field.

Polymer Technologies, Inc. developed a three-piece headliner package consisting of two side parts encompassing a circular center part which covered the machine gun turret. The material composite consisted of three distinct layers. Outermost is a rugged reinforced vinyl, impervious to moisture contamination. An open cell urethane foam substrate provides the majority of thermal insulation. This combination is bonded to a rigid, corrugated plastic backboard, which provides ease of installation as well as added air circulation.

The key to this thermal energy management insulation package was a unique clip system created and implemented by PTI. This clip system utilized the existing metal framework of the cab and allowed for the headliner parts to be quickly and securely installed.

PTI's FMTV Headliner System was chosen over two other design contenders and remains an
integral part of cab production. This program has led to several other growth opportunities at this
account as well as profitable advances within the broader military truck market.

(Specifications subject to change without notice. Check with factory for latest revisions.) The Federal Trade Commission considers no existing test methods or standards regarding flammability as accurate indicators of the performance of cellular plastic materials under actual fire conditions. Results of existing test methods, such as UL-94, MVSS-302, SAE J-369, and FAR 25.853 are intended only as measurements of the performance of such materials under specific controlled test conditions. Any flammability ratings shown are not intended to reflect hazards presented by these materials under actual fire conditions. The information contained herein is based on laboratory test data developed for PTI and is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed. The buyer must test any product to determine the suitability for h is specific application before use.


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