This follows the company’s work in conjunction with the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to find ways to make light-weight vehicle components. Century says that the drum is expected to save the FMTV military vehicle up to 300 lbs of un-sprung weight. The TARDEC/Century Drum weighs 45% less than its cast iron equivalent and lasts significantly longer. The lighter weight and longer life cycle can help increase mobility, fuel savings, vehicle efficiencies, and lower maintenance costs for the vehicle.

The aluminium metal matrix, which is made using the company’s Light-Weighting technology, is a composite of aluminium and ceramics in the wear surface region. The wear-resistant ceramic reinforcement is only applied to the wear surface region of the drum, while the remainder of the drum is easy to machine, ductile and low-cost aluminium alloy.

The drum is made using the company’s proprietary Ring Extruder technology which makes it possible to mass produce the ceramic materials used in MMCs using a continuous mixing and forming process. The pre-form material is continuously extruded, formed into shape and then thermally processed and machined. The final ceramic pre form is then placed in the wear surface area where it is squeeze cast and machined.