Posted: January 21, 2010

Oshkosh Corporation Funded to Research Stronger but Lighter Metals

(Nanowerk News) Oshkosh Corporation announced that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded research funding to the joint-development team on which Oshkosh is a member. The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) funding is projected to be nearly $5 million over a five-year duration. With the team providing in-kind contribution of engineering resources, the project's total value is approximately $10 million.
The goal of this project is to produce lighter weight metal castings of aluminum and magnesium that will have the strength of cast steel for commercial-scale production. Through NIST's funding of this project, Oshkosh and its partners can explore the use of nanocomposites beyond their current use in simple, uncomplicated moldings into larger, more complex metal castings. The work will expand on laboratory tests conducted by the team's project leader, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"The NIST's TIP awards are not just an honor to receive, but proof of Oshkosh's position at the cutting edge of manufacturing technology and innovation," said Donald H. Verhoff, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president of technology. "Staying at the forefront of technological innovation allows us to better serve our customers and to compete in the global marketplace."
Nanoparticles are extremely small particles, much smaller than a human hair or red blood cells. Due to the extremely small particle size, dispersing them homogeneously throughout the casting volume is the biggest challenge.
The project will aid research on the development of a casting technology whereby lighter metals are strengthened with nanoparticles in large-scale production resulting in metals that are just as strong as their heavier counterparts.
This research will hopefully generate benefits in defense and commercial truck manufacturing, enable transformative changes in multiple industries, directly address the critical national needs of reducing oil dependency, lower greenhouse gas emissions and help maintain U.S. leadership in manufacturing.
Other members of the research team include Eck Industries, Inc. of Manitowoc, Wis., Nanostructured & Amorphous Materials, Inc. of Houston, Texas and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) of Madison, Wis. The team proposed its research on transformational casting technology for the fabrication of ultra-high performance lightweight aluminum and magnesium nanocomposites under the category of practical application of advanced materials including nanomaterials, advanced alloys and composites in manufacturing.
The TIP competition seeks to support, promote and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need. Entries were selected based on merit via a multidisciplinary peer-review process. NIST is a nonregulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline(TM), SMIT(TM), CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount.
Source: Oshkosh (press release)
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