Light-weight Vehicle Exhaust System for Amphibious Vehicles
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-002
MARCOR - Ms. Elizabeth Madden - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-002 TITLE: Light-weight Vehicle Exhaust System for Amphibious Vehicles

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Program Manager Advanced Amphibious Assault (PM AAA)

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an improved, light-weight, lower-cost, low-thermal conductivity vehicle exhaust system for use in next generation amphibious vehicles.

DESCRIPTION: The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is in the process of developing and procuring armored tracked and wheeled troop carriers designed to operate over harsh off-road terrain and in oceans and rivers (Ref. 1). Currently, amphibious vehicle capabilities are limited due to competing requirements: 1) water mobility, 2) combat effectiveness, 3) carrying capacity, and 4) survivability. Hence, lightweight durable and affordable components and sub-systems are necessary to maximize the overall system capability. The physical environment in which amphibious vehicles operate (seawater) is corrosive for many materials and the problem is exacerbated by high temperatures caused by the vehicle exhaust system. Current state-of-the-art for US military exhaust systems, as implemented on the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, consists of a pipe and muffler. The exhaust system technology implemented on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) met performance requirements but imposed a severe weight burden on the vehicle and experienced deterioration due to seawater sloshing into the aft portion of the exhaust. The exhaust suffered from accelerated pitting and caused a short product life and high life-cycle cost. The engine used in the EFV was a 12 cylinder diesel and the exhaust system was comprised of aluminum and composite (Ref. 2). The next generation amphibious vehicles have similar performance requirements to the EFV and are projected to utilize a similarly rated engine. As such, this topic is focused on the development of an improved exhaust system that can withstand repeated heating/cooling cycles while minimizing the transfer of heat from engine exhaust to the external surface of the vehicle for personnel safety. Any technology innovations incorporated into next generation amphibious vehicles will need to be lighter and less expensive to acquire while still meeting performance specifications and being robust enough to withstand the demanding operating environments.

The USMC has interest in innovative approaches in the application of advanced material systems to enable the development of a robust, light-weight (less than 500 pounds (lbs)), affordable (less than $100K to acquire) engine exhaust system while simultaneously reducing the thermal conductivity of the vehicle�s exhaust to the environment. The exhaust system must be capable of efficient operation across a range of mass flow rates from 0.5 kilogram per second (kg/sec) to 3.5 kg/sec and an overall system backpressure of less than 50 millibar (mbar). The exhaust system must withstand internal pressures of up to 6 pounds per square inch (psi). Proposed concepts should address the ability to function in extreme operating environments which include, but are not limited to, -25 degrees Fahrenheit (�F) to +120�F, hot dessert blowing sand, full salt water immersion and immersion in petroleum-based liquids (Ref. 6). Concepts must be able to withstand indefinite operation with up to 750 degrees Celsius (�C) engine exhaust and not suffer performance degradation including corrosion when exposed repeatedly to quenching with ambient temperature sea water.

The ability to perform in the specified environment without experiencing system degradation as a result (e.g. corrosion or excess wear) is one of the key technical challenges for any proposed material system solution. The proposed concept should minimize thermal transfer from the hot exhaust gasses to the external surfaces. Optimally, the temperature of the exposed surfaces of the exhaust system should match the temperature of the surrounding vehicle surface. The proposed concept must be robust and survivable within the varied operating environment and able to withstand vehicle vibration and ballistic shock requirements (Ref. 3-7). For the purpose of technology development and demonstration, proposers should use the EFV geometries and operating profiles in the development of their concepts (Ref. 2).

The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and the small business will need to be prepared for personnel and facility certification for secure access.

PHASE I: The company will explore the application of advanced material system concepts for a light-weight, lower-cost, low thermal conductivity vehicle exhaust system alternative for next generation amphibious vehicles. The company will also need to take into account the operating environment in which the exhaust system will be exposed. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept(s) and will establish that the selected concept can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling as appropriate. The company will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones that will address technical risk reduction.

PHASE II: Based upon the results of Phase I and the Phase II Proposal development plan, the company will develop a vehicle exhaust system alternative for next generation amphibious vehicles prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals specified above and the Marine Corps� requirements for an improved vehicle exhaust system. At a minimum, system performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters under real and/or simulated conditions. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements. Working with the Marine Corps, the company will prepare a Phase III development plan to detail the strategy for transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use.

PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Marine Corps in transitioning the vehicle exhaust system alternative for next generation amphibious vehicles for Marine Corps use. Working with the Marine Corps, the company will integrate their prototype vehicle exhaust system onto an existing vehicle for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. This technology is directly applicable to large military vehicles such as the Marine Corps� Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and the Army�s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV). The company will support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use. The company will develop manufacturing plans and capabilities to produce the system for both military and commercial markets.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Successful development and characterization of a lightweight exhaust system has direct application to a wide variety of uses in various military and commercial applications such as commercial trucks, and marine and construction equipment. Reductions in weight and heat from diesel and gas-turbine engines are of substantial value. This technology could also be adapted for use in shrouds around generators, turbine aircraft engines or better thermal shielding for use in automobiles.

1. "Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle." Last modified 26 August 2012. Retrieved from:

2. "Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle." Last modified 14 August 2014. Retrieved from:

3. Hopkins, R., "The Challenge of Environmental Testing of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Ammunition Feed System Separate from the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle." 30 March 2011. Retrieved from:

4. Walker, M., "United States Marine Corps Operational Maneuver From The Sea." Retrieved from:

5. "AR 70-75 Survivability of Army Personnel and Materials." 2 May 2005. Retrieved from:

6. "MIL-STD-810G Environmental Test Methods and Engineering Guidelines." Retrieved from:

7. "MIL-STD-889B Dissimilar Metals." Retrieved from:

8. "Diesel Exhaust Aftertreatment 2000-2007." 1 April 2008. Retrieved from:

KEYWORDS: amphibious vehicle; engine emissions; engine exhaust; thermal transfer; exhaust modulation

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