TRAVERSE CITY — Century Inc. announced the completion of castings for an Aluminum Metal Matrix Composite Brake Drum for the U.S. Army Stryker vehicle.

The light-weight MMC drums are expected to be dyno tested and vehicle tested later this year. The objectives of the testing will be focused on durability and performance testing.

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Century’s drum is expected to save the Stryker up to 140 to 150 pounds per vehicle over their recently adopted light-weight drums. The additional weight savings could be an opportunity to act as a “weight-shifter” and allow for other things to be added to the vehicle to further enhance mobility and survivability.

Century has been working with the U.S. Army TACOM and U.S. Army TARDEC to design, develop, demonstrate and then transition light-weight MMC Components into the field. In addition to the need for weight reduction in the military, this technology will have significant impact on the commercial truck market as recent government regulations for shorter stopping distances and increased emission controls have caused a demand for light-weighting.

According to Jim McManus, Business Development Manager at Century, Inc., “New technologies will help our customer’s light-weight their vehicles however, transitioning technology is no easy task. The bottom line is simple, American Manufacturing needs to find innovative, new ways to make and process products in order for American to be competitive in the global market place. This technology is a prime example of how innovation can work. If we’re going to ‘re-shore’ the ‘off-shore’ jobs then we need to find new ways to get the job done and meet the demands of our customers”.

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The aluminum MMC Prototype Drums for the U.S. Army’s Stryker Vehicle is a collaborative effort between, the U.S. Army Stryker Brigade Team, U.S. Army TARDEC (Tank Automotive Research Developent and Engineering Command), General Dynamics Land Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems of Canada, and Century Inc.

The technology is beginning to get traction in the commercial market as OEM’s are looking for more ways to save significant weight as a result of increased regulations causing trucks to weigh more and stop in shorter distances.

Headquartered in Traverse City, Century is a privately held precision manufacturing company with four divisions — Century Specialties (Precision Machining), Century Sun Metal Treating (Heat Treating), Century 3/Plus, LLC (Advanced Materials Research & Development) and Century Aerospace and Defense LLC.

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