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Built specially to survive landmines, hostile fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), armour-plated steel and laminated composite panels on Cougar specialty armoured vehicles are sealed during assembly with Araldite epoxy adhesive supplied by Huntsman Advanced Materials.
The vehicles, which are able to hold as many as 12 passengers depending on configuration, are customized for multiple tasks including troop transport, mine and explosive ordnance disposal, command and control and as blast-protected ambulances.
Araldite 2015 epoxy adhesive, which is suited for bonding a broad range of substrates, contributes to panel strength, durability, and resistance to degradation from temperature extremes and moisture.
Production of the armoured panels that protect the centre/passenger portion of the Force Protection’s Cougar vehicle along with front and rear axles, radiator, fuel tanks and battery compartments is a multi-step process involving mechanical fastening as well as adhesive bonding. As technicians dispense a bead of mixed adhesive onto a substrate, it is spread with a putty knife and then panel sections are clamped together until the adhesive cures. Huntsman say that facilitating this process is the epoxy’s non-sag properties, 35-minute work life at room temperature, and rapid cure which permits panel handling after four hours at 77ºF (25ºC). Completed panels are then used to assemble final Cougar vehicles.
After field experience with the mine-protected Cougar vehicles, Col. Mike Micucci sums up their performance saying, “There has never been a compromise in terms of the ballistic and armour integrity of the vehicle.”
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