Integration of lightweight design solutions is a challenge GS Engineering has accepted through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) required weight reduction and improved vehicle structural design, and we brought our full suite of engineering expertise to meet this challenge, from lightweight materials expertise to dynamic analysis and field testing. This program resulted in the development of structurally optimized and economical end-use components meeting the required strength, stiffness, and fatigue properties, while achieving measureable reductions in individual component weight. Prominent to the lightweight design methodology for this SBIR were purpose-built extrusion profiles providing selective structural reinforcement in combination with deliberate material reduction in specific cross-sectional areas. Application of lightweight high-strength aluminum extrusion technology also provided the foundation for enhanced modularity and re-configurability of numerous add-on components and equipment. The benefits of reduced vehicle weight through this SBIR included tangible increases in vehicle speed and performance, improved reliability and fuel mileage, reduced maintenance costs, and increased cargo carrying capability in critical field operations.

Having achieved this lightweight design, GS Engineering received a Tibbett’s award from the Small Business Administration at the White House for the work on this SBIR. This award recognized the critical role GS Engineering has in lightweight research and development for the government, success in driving innovation, and creating new jobs. GS Engineering was one of only 18 companies recognized in 2013 and the only company in the Midwest to receive such recognition.

This lightweight technology and design methodology has been successfully adapted by GS Engineering to other vehicle platforms, from ATVs to MRAPs and pickup trucks. Through effective topology development and optimization approaches, weight reduction can be achieved while improving overall stiffness and dynamic response. GS Engineering can integrate this lightweight technology into your vehicle platform or customize it to meet your specific requirements. 

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