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Quadrant Engineering Offers Composites Solutions for Unmanned Vehicles

13 August 2013

Quadrant Engineering Plastic Product’s (EPP) says the unique formulation of its advanced materials for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) are aimed at lowering overall weight and increasing durability in the harshest of environments.

Unmanned vehicles operate without a person on-board. They are remotely guided - some are even autonomous vehicles capable of sensing their environment and navigating on their own. Best known for their military and special operation applications, they are also used in a growing number of civil applications such as policing and fire-fighting, and non-military security work such as surveillance of pipelines and underwater research. UVS are often preferred for missions that are too dull, dirty, and/or dangerous for manned vehicles.

The lightweight and durable nature of these materials provides tactical advantages in marine, ground, and aerospace applications by global governments, law enforcement agencies and homeland defence departments.

"Due to Quadrant's application experts and innovative materials, unmanned vehicles are experiencing performance improvements due to superior part design as well as lighter weight components that greatly enhance durability -- all at a lower cost for the production part development, not otherwise achievable with traditional materials such as metals and alloys," says Rick Hilblom, Application Development Manager. "Since the beginning of UV technology we've been working with design engineers to deliver the most advanced materials that are also practical in cost for their applications."

Quadrant offers the widest range of lightweight, high-wear resistance polymers and composites specially developed for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV), Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV), and Unmanned Spacecraft.

"When constructing the Torsion Arm Suspension on the M113 UGV for the Australian Military, they required a thermoplastic with frictional heat resistance and increased load bearing surfaces to maximize performance," said Rick. "We delivered using Quadrant's Techtron HPV, a high strength polymer filled with synthetic lubricants to lower the coefficient of friction and increase payload." In UAV applications, Quadrant materials such as Duratron and Fluorosint excel in their durability, their ability to withstand harsh environments, and their resistance to hydraulic fluids and aviation fuels without corrosion -- all with zero lubrication. Duratron provides superior performance in extreme heat environments, withstanding temperatures upwards of 600ºF guaranteeing structural and tribological reliability. The Fluorosint materials are more durable than PTFE materials when used for energised seals in hydraulic actuators.





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