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Defense Equipment and Rubber Manufacturing


Defense equipment is some of the most specialized machinery in the world. Military equipment not only has to complete specific mission-critical tasks but also has to withstand extreme conditions.

Considering the cost and safety risks associated with using military equipment, it is important to use the right materials. Rubber has a wide range of capabilities and offers protective qualities perfect for the use of military equipment. Here are common military equipment that utilize rubber parts:

  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Helicopters, jets, and other aircraft
  • Submarines and ships
  • Multipurpose vehicles
  • Tanks and armored combat vehicles
  • Personnel transporters

These machines are designed for optimum durability and productivity and are often subjected to high levels of noise, vibration, and harshness. However, when equipment needs frequent repairs, it puts personnel and critical tasks at risk. 

This article will cover the ways in which rubber is utilized in the military equipment industry today. From military personnel safety to trends in military equipment, learn all about how this industry is a leader in rubber optimization. How rubber plays an important role in the reduction of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH).

Looking for a trustworthy rubber manufacturing partner? RPM Industrial Rubber Parts is the company for you. Our team of experienced engineers understands the importance of manufacturing reliable military equipment and how custom-molded rubber products can support that mission.

Head to our website for more information about our excellent services:

Rubber Parts and Military Equipment

There are many different materials used in military equipment, but rubber is the common denominator. So, why rubber? Take a look at some of the benefits of using rubber in military equipment:

  • Customization capabilities through different molding techniques 
  • Provides vibration control and noise dampening
  • Thermally conductive
  • Cost-effective and readily available
  • Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) reduction

Rubber is an incredibly versatile material that can be used to increase efficiency, decrease downtime and improve safety. According to the McNally Institute, one military tank costs about $6 million. Because the equipment is so expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain, it is imperative that fleets are as long-lasting as possible. Using high-quality rubber parts is the best way to achieve this. We have a broad range of rubber and elastomers to suit virtually every environment.

Using Rubber Mounts in Defense Equipment

There are a few ways that OEMs can use custom rubber products for military equipment. However, the components that are arguably some of the most important are components subject to metal-to-metal contact or high shock loads. Rubber mounts can be used for a variety of applications. They are perfect for engines, transmission, radiators, exhaust, cabs, seats, steering systems, and shock reduction in critical sensors and electronics.

Rubber mounts act as a buffer between two components. The mount will absorb shock loads and forces to prevent the force from damaging connecting parts. For example, an engine mount protects other parts from breakages caused by long-term exposure to engine vibrations.

Want to learn more? Take a look at this blog: Rubber Sandwich Mount Applications

large sandwich mounts rubber parts

Using Rubber for Military Personnel Safety

To military equipment manufacturers, personnel safety should be of the utmost importance. In a study published in the Occupational Medicine journal, researchers found that military personnel experienced back, neck, and hip pain from vehicles. Participants attributed their pain to unergonomic seating, poor suspension, and excessive vibration. 

Defense personnel do not only experience vibrations coming from the vehicle itself, but also from the conditions in which they are in. Although not all servicemen are in the field, those that are experience all sorts of physical shock. This could include explosions, artillery fire, and vibrations emanating from other vehicles. 

Military agencies want equipment that will minimize non-combat-related injuries while personnel perform their essential duties. This means that OEMs need to incorporate shock-reducing parts, such as flex bolt sandwich mounts, in their manufactured military equipment. 

Minimizing shock in a military machine is crucial to its longevity. Damages cause unwanted downtime and expensive repairs. To prevent these issues, it is key to use vibration control products such as rubber mounts. 

Flex Bolt Sandwich Mounts-1

Military Equipment Trends and Rubber Manufacturing

As technology improves, so does military equipment. The defense industry is at the forefront of innovative design. Two of the biggest trends in military equipment manufacturing are robotics and autonomous systems and alternative fuel vehicles.

Rubber manufacturing plays an important role in designing out-of-the-box military equipment. OEMs need an expert in how rubber can best be utilized in new machinery. While RPM has a wide array of standard parts, we also specialize in custom parts. Our experts will work with you every step of the way to ensure your vision becomes a reality.


Military Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Military robotics and autonomous systems are one of the most trending fields of military research and manufacturing today. Interesting Engineering reports on the capabilities of using autonomous military robots as warfighters. Defense autonomous systems can provide reconnaissance and risk assessment, rather than using people to do that dangerous job. 

As robotics are not traditional vehicles or machinery, you may wonder where rubber comes in. Typically, autonomous systems require advanced electronics. These systems can be incredibly sensitive to disturbing frequencies. Without the proper shock and vibration control, they will require frequent replacements and repairs.

Using quality rubber parts will make these groundbreaking machines as reliable and durable as possible. 


Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Alternative fuel military vehicles are becoming the next big thing and rubber plays an important part. According to Aero Defense Tech, 75% of energy usage in the military is used for mobility purposes. This means that air, land, and sea craft use three-quarters of all energy used in the military. 

This has caused the Department of Defense to begin looking into alternative fuel vehicles. The Maritime Executive reported that the U.S. Navy has started alternative fuel use. The Navy has started to manufacture ships that use both diesel and electricity. The dual-energy function allows the ship to stay stationed three times longer than traditionally fueled ships. 

Electric vehicles require more sensors than traditionally fueled vehicles. These sensors inform the operator of the state of the vehicle. Sensors, like any electronic system, are delicate and need protection from vibration. Rubber mounts are the perfect part for dampening shock and preventing unnecessary damage.

military rubber

RPM: A Quality Partner in Defense Manufacturing

Defense agencies are looking for excellence in manufacturing and OEMs can achieve this with the expertise of RPM Industrial Rubber Parts. Our excellent customer service and superior custom molded rubber parts are what put us at the top. From one industry leader to another: let’s work together to achieve your goals in defense manufacturing.

To get started working with RPM, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 842-5668. 


We know Rubber

If you need rubber, we’ll have it. If we don’t have it, we’ll find it. If we can’t find it, we’ll make it.