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The Innovative Uses Of Rubber By The Military

THE INNOVATIVE USES OF RUBBER BY THE MILITARY When you think of the military, you think tanks, helicopters and fighter jets, right? But did you realise that rubber is a key component in much of the machinery and equipment used by the forces? Rubber is inherently adept at absorbing shock and vibration as well as being an extremely strong, flexible and resistant material. In combat zones, even the slightest fault can spell disaster, and that's why the reliability of synthetic and natural rubber compounds is so important to the defence industry. Below we take a look at just how rubber is used by the military: FUEL TANKS [PILLOW BLADDERS] Did you know that the military often use rubber fuel tanks, known as pillow bladders in almost any environmental extreme? » Such fuel bladders offer a high degree of protection of the stored liquids, ensuring the contents never come in contact with air, reducing the risk of evaporation and explosion. » To the defence sector, the ease of transportation and quick setup are attractive properties of rubber fuel tanks. FUEL TANKS [FUEL CELL LINERS) Fuel Cell Liners can be fitted inside the cavity of conventional metal fuel tanks. > The Fuel Cell Liner offers protection in the event that the outer layer of the fuel tank is pierced. > The lightweight nature of Fuel Cell Liners makes them suitable for many environments but especially aviation. LONG TERM WEAPON & AMMUNITION STORAGE > When you're storing and transporting live ammunition and explosives, you want something that's going to keep them safe! > Rubber weapon storage solutions are fireproof and shock absorbent. » Such storage solutions can also be made to be watertight and buoyant if to be used in naval operations. MOLLE » MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. » It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks utilised by a number of NAT0 armed forces, especially the British Army and the United States Army. > Rubber is being utilised in developments in an attempt to provide a simple yet effective solution. ANTI-TERRORISM BARRIERS » In an attempt to prevent seaborne terrorist attacks, floating inflatable rubber barriers are being deployed at ports. W Such barriers are designed to stop an oncoming boat in a matter of seconds. » Anti-terrorism barriers are used to protect civilian areas such as harbours and marinas as well as military shipyards and nuclear and chemical plants. DRACONE BARGES » The Dracone barge may not be a household name, but this gigantic rubber bladder is part of the first response kit in an oil spill, often deployed by the military. » The barge allows the transportation of liquid from point A to B without a tanker. » Manufactured from rubber, a Dracone barge can be used to empty the fuel tanks of boats and ships in the event of a disaster as well as transporting fuel to inaccessible theatres. NBC SUITS Rubber-coated textiles are commonly utilised in both NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) suits and over boots, offering a suitable material for potential use in such demanding environments. > The lightweight and elastic nature of rubber means that the wearer still has excellent levels of manoeuvrability whilst offering the required level of protection. > The area of the mask that forms the face-seal is of very pliable rubber so that the contours of the face are well sealed. » The most recognisable piece of NBC equipment is the 'Gas Mask', or to give it it's correct military name, 'respirator. The smooth rubber surface can easily be fully decontaminated. » To enable prolonged use, respirators are fitted with a rubber drinking straw that can be attached to a drinking bottle via an airtight seal. PILOT FACE MASKS > Essential for fighter jet pilots who perform high speed and high G-Force manoeuvres. The face mask supplies the blacking out. with Oxygen to prevent them from >» Not only does the face mask supply Oxygen, but it also houses a microphone for the pilot to communicate with the Navigator/ Command. "ONCE ONLY' SUITS > 'Once Only' Suits are survival suits that offer sailors protection in the event of the need to abandon ship. »> The suit protects against hypothermia and effects of the cold - the suits are fitted with neoprene rubber seals around the wrists and neck to prevent water ingress. » The suits get their name because of their one-time-use nature. VIBRATION REDUCTION » Warships, Tanks and Aircraft Warships, Tanks and Aircraft are fitted with many pieces of sensitive equipment which need to function perfectly often in harsh environments. > Equipment such as Gyro Compasses, Radio, RADAR and SONAR are mounted on rubber dampers that reduce harmful vibrations. HOSES » With a myriad of uses from Fire-fighting, In-Flight Refuelling, and Replenishment at Sea, rubber hoses are used extensively by the military. SONAR ABSORBING MATERIALS > Submarines need to operate by stealth. It is essential that they stay hidden from the SONAR of surface ships and Airborne SONAR. 0000 » Rubber SONAR Absorbing tiles are fixed to the outer surface of the submarine to help reduce the 'signature' of the submarine to SONAR detection. WATERTIGHT DOORS AND HATCHES » Staying watertight is essential for Ships and Submarines. » Outer doors and hatches have thick rubber seals and a series of 'clips' that apply even pressure around the door creating a watertight seal. » Individual compartments in the ship also have the same rubber seals. This can help confine a flood or leak to one compartment. » An added bonus of the rubber seals is that it prevents metal on metal contact - the doors and hatches don't close with a 'clang'. ELECTRO-STATIC DISCHARGE PROTECTION We will all have experienced an occasional static shocks when we touch metal objects. Whilst static shocks they are uncomfortable for us, Electro Static Discharges can completely wipe out sensitive electrical equipment - a risk that can't be taken with military equipment. To protect equipment (and personnel) from the effects of static, engineers are issued with boots with ESD protective rubber soles. Brought to you by White Cross Rubber Products ( White Cross RUBBER PRODUCTS 000

The Innovative Uses Of Rubber By The Military

shared by brockbankjames on Apr 30
Believe it or not, the military use rubber in a whole host of innovative ways, due in part to the many different properties which the material exhibits. From use in fuel tanks, long-term weapon and am...


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