Icon Polymer Group

Icon Goes Further in Advanced Military Technology

Icon Polymer Group, a technology company in engineered polymer products, is using its innovative approach to help deliver significant advances in the protection of army troops serving in hostile environments.

Icon Goes Further in Advanced Military Technology

The company has drawn on its extensive experience in polymer development to deliver new, high-specification formulations and process techniques, which are being used in All Terrain Runflat (ATR) tyre systems, developed specifically for the military all-terrain vehicles, by UK-based Tyron.

Tyres used on operational military vehicles are subject to a multitude of threats to their integrity including bullets, shrapnel and fire, as well as poor road conditions and off-road hazards. However, the vehicle must be able to operate effectively even when one or more tyres have been damaged, to bring troops to safety.

Current standards require the tyres to be able to travel 50km at 50 kph on road or for two hours off road but the new polymer formulation, from Icon, enables wheels of up to 5 tonnes, using Tyron’s patented multi-section ATR system, to travel as far as 100km.

The ATR products are currently designed for 395/85R20 and 1400R20 tyres on 20x10 tubeless wheels, with the assembly comprising three sections assembled around the wheel and locked together with bolts, conforming to Finabel A.20.5. Furthermore, the technology is suitable for transfer to a range of other tyre types and sizes. Installation and removal can be carried out in the field using normal tyre changing tools, unlike with single-section technologies which require more sophisticated specialist equipment and potentially poses further dangers to the installer as they have to work with their hands inside the tyre.

Tim Pryce, Chief Executive Officer of Icon Polymer, explained: “Run-flat technology is crucial on all-terrain military vehicles which may face various threats – both on the ground and from actual attack. Working with Tyron was a great example of Icon delivering its excellence in polymer technology and processing to frontline critical applications.”

Key to the performance of the Icon product is its ability to dissipate heat effectively while the process technology advances employed provide close tolerances in this rotating application. Retaining product integrity and repeatability is essential to the demonstrated performance of the ATR runflat wheel - especially in the extreme temperatures where many of today’s military operations take place – to get the vehicle and its occupants away from danger.

“It’s one more example of a project where our engineering team have applied knowledge gained from across the numerous sectors we work in – off-highway, fighting vehicle wheels and aerospace to name just a few – to deliver a formulation and repeatable process which optimises performance in a critical application”, added Mike Heslop, Director of Materials and Technology at Icon Polymer.

Richard Glazebrook of Tyron added: “Icon’s unique pedigree in highly engineered polymer products has added further value to a system which is already proven in real military operations across the globe – by the creation of a formulation and manufacturing process which allows the ATR system to operate for twice the distance, and indeed further, than was previously achievable.”

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