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TriMas Unit, Ann Arbor’s Solidica Join Up For Better Military Armor

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A blast is contained by Solidica advanced lightweight armor.

A blast is contained by Solidica advanced lightweight armor.

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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Bloomfield Hills-based TriMas Corp. (Nasdaq: TRS), a diversified manufacturer of engineered and applied products, announced that one of its subsidiaries, NI Industries, has signed an advanced manufacturing development agreement with the Ann Arbor-based advanced materials maker Solidica.

The agreement establishes a pilot manufacturing line for DuraTi, Solidica’s revolutionary lightweight armor developed for military and security applications. Suitable for both legacy and new platforms, DuraTi reduces the weight of select ballistic applications by up to 25 percent as compared to conventional materials currently in use in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The production of such an exciting new armor solution continues the prominent legacy of innovation and manufacturing excellence that has characterized NI Industries’ contributions to our national security since the late 1930s,” said Anil Shanbhag, vice president and general manager of NI Industries. “We’re thrilled to partner with Solidica to advance DuraTi production capability so that we can meet the growing demand for lightweight armor alternatives necessary for enhanced survivability and increased platform mobility.”

Located within the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, NI Industries will lead the development of the manufacturing parameters and processes.

Said Solidica president and CEO Ken Johnson: “This collaboration combines the established materials product development capability of Solidica and the rich defense manufacturing expertise of NI Industries in a powerful way that will accelerate the time to market and launch this much needed armor innovation.”

Developed over the past five years with support from several defense agencies, DuraTi is designed to serve as a replacement for conventional metal armor systems at a reduced weight and a cost far below that of exotic composite ceramic solutions. Solidica reports that targeted platforms include the HMMWV Recapitalization effort, as well as a variety of legacy light and medium armored platforms, military personnel transports, and next generation light tactical vehicles.

Formed in the early 1930, NI Industries (formerly known as Norris Industries) is a leading manufacturer of metal munitions components supporting various weapons systems. Over the years, NI has played a vital role in the design, development and high-volume manufacture of metal components for the U.S. and Allied militaries. Currently headquartered in Rock Island, Ill., NI will operate the Quad Cities Cartridge Case Facility on behalf of the Joint Munitions & Lethality Life Cycle Management Command.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, Solidica is a technology-rich producer of vehicle optimization technologies that increase platform operational efficiencies and reduce vehicle life cycle ownership costs. Operating two divisions focused on materials innovation and vehicle monitoring electronics respectively, Solidica serves the full range of heavy truck platform markets, including military, mining, distribution, utility, electric vehicles, and construction. More at www.solidica.com.

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