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Title:
ARMOURED VEHICLE UNDERSHIELD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/030465
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising: an underside guard; one or more casings coupled to the underside guard; and a fibre reinforced composite material encased by the one or more casings.

Inventors:
SLOMAN ROGER MARK (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2017/052337
Publication Date:
February 14, 2019
Filing Date:
August 08, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ADVANCED BLAST & BALLISTIC SYSTEMS LTD (GB)
International Classes:
F41H7/04
Foreign References:
US20090140545A12009-06-04
EP1574812A12005-09-14
US20140318357A12014-10-30
CN101273174A2008-09-24
GB2099963A1982-12-15
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARRISON, Scott et al. (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising:

an underside guard;

one or more casings coupled to the underside guard; and

fibre reinforced composite material encased by the one or more casings. 2. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 1 , wherein the one or more casings are or comprise one or more closed conduits.

3. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 1 or 2, wherein the one or more casings include an elongate casing and a further elongate casing, a length of the elongate casing being arranged to extend along a length of the underside guard and a length of the further elongate casing being arranged to extend along a width of the underside guard.

4. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 3, wherein the length of the further elongate casing is substantially perpendicular to the length of the elongate casing.

5. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the one or more casings include a first plurality of casings situated on the underside guard and a second plurality of casings situated on the first plurality of casings.

6. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 5, wherein the first plurality of casings and the second plurality of casings are elongate in shape, and lengths of the first plurality of casings are arranged to extend along a length of the underside guard and lengths of the second plurality of casings are arranged to extend along a width of the underside guard.

7. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 6, wherein lengths of the second plurality of casings are substantially perpendicular to the lengths of the first plurality of casings.

8. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 5, 6 or 7, further comprising a third plurality of casings situated on the second plurality of casings.

9. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fibre reinforced composite material has an elastic modulus of at least 70GPa and/or a tensile strength of at least 2.5GPa.

10. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fibre reinforced composite material comprises a matrix and at least one fibrous material.

1 1. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 11 , wherein the at least one fibrous material comprises at least one of: carbon fibre, glass fibre, boron fibre, aramid fibre or ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.

12. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 11 or 12, wherein the matrix comprises a thermosetting resin or a thermoplastic material.

13. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the underside guard is formed from one or more metals.

14. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the one or more casings are formed from one or more metals. 15. The armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims, wherein the underside guard and the one or more metals are formed from steel.

16. The armoured vehicle of any of the preceding claims, wherein each of the one or more casings with fibre reinforced composite material therein forms a sandwich structure.

17. An armoured vehicle comprising the armoured vehicle undershield of any of the preceding claims.

18. An armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising:

an underside guard having a length, a width and a depth;

a first plurality of elongate casings, having fibre reinforced composite material therein, coupled to the underside guard and arranged lengthwise relative to the underside guard; and

a second plurality of elongate casings, having fibre reinforced composite material therein, coupled to the underside guard and arranged widthwise relative to the underside guard.

19. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 18, wherein lengths of the second plurality of casings are perpendicular to lengths of the first plurality of casings.

20. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 19, wherein lengths of the first plurality of casings are arranged diagonally relative to the length of the underside guard, and/or wherein the lengths of the second plurality of casings are arranged diagonally relative to the width of the underside guard.

21. The armoured vehicle undershield of claim 18, 19 or 20 wherein the second plurality of elongate casings is coupled to the underside guard at least partially via a connection to the first plurality of elongate casings.

22. An armoured vehicle comprising the armoured vehicle undershield of any of claims 18 to 21.

23. An armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising:

an underside guard; and

one or more casings encasing fibre reinforced composite material.

24. An armoured vehicle comprising the armoured vehicle undershield of claim 23.

Description:
TITLE

Armoured vehicle undershield TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

Embodiments of the present invention relate to an undershield for an armoured vehicle. In particular, they relate to an undershield for counteracting an explosion underneath an armoured vehicle.

BACKGROUND

Armoured vehicles comprise armour for protecting the vehicle and its occupants against projectiles, shrapnel and blast emanating from explosive devices, such as mines or improvised explosive devices (lEDs).

BRIEF SUMMARY

According to various, but not necessarily all, embodiments of the invention there is provided an armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising: an underside guard; one or more casings coupled to the underside guard; and a fibre reinforced composite material encased by the one or more casings.

According to various, but not necessarily all, embodiments of the invention there is provided an armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising: an underside guard having a length, a width and a depthwise; a first plurality of elongate casings, having a fibre reinforced composite material therein, coupled to the underside guard and arranged along lengthwise relative to the underside guard; and a second plurality of elongate casings, having a fibre reinforced composite material therein, coupled to the underside guard and arranged widthwise relative to the underside guard.

According to various, but not necessarily all, embodiments of the invention there is provided an armoured vehicle undershield for a land-based armoured vehicle, comprising: an underside guard; and one or more casings encasing fibre reinforced composite material.

According to various, but not necessarily all, embodiments of the invention there is provided an armoured vehicle comprising an armoured vehicle undershield as described above.

According to various, but not necessarily all, embodiments of the invention there is provided examples as claimed in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

For a better understanding of various examples that are useful for understanding the detailed description, reference will now be made by way of example only to the accompanying drawings in which:

fig. 1A illustrates a perspective view of an underside guard of an armoured vehicle undershield;

fig. 1 B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the underside guard;

fig. 2A illustrates a perspective view of a casing containing a fibre reinforced composite material;

fig. 2B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the casing;

fig. 3A illustrates a perspective view of the armoured vehicle undershield; and fig. 3B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the armoured vehicle undershield. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the invention relate to an undershield 100 of an armoured vehicle. The undershield 100 is for positioning at the underside of an armoured vehicle, for example, to protect the vehicle and its occupants against projectiles, shrapnel and blast emanating from explosive devices, such as mines or improvised explosive devices (lEDs).

Fig. 1A illustrates a perspective view of an underside guard 10 of the armoured vehicle undershield 100. Fig. 1 B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the underside guard 10. The underside guard 10 may be for positioning at the underside of a land-based armoured vehicle. When the underside guard 10 forms part of a vehicle, it is arranged to face ground. It might be the lowermost portion of the hull of the vehicle. The underside guard 10 may otherwise be termed as a "belly plate".

The underside guard 10 may be formed from one or more metals, such as steel. In some embodiments, the underside guard is formed from such as Hardox® or Armox® ballistic steel. The underside guard 10 may be cast or forged. The illustrated example of the underside guard has a length LG, a width WG and a depth DG. The length LG may be greater than the width WG, which in turn may be greater than the depth DG. The length LG and the width WG of the underside guard 10 are for alignment with the length and width of an armoured vehicle, respectively. The length LG of the underside guard 10 can be considered to extend in a first dimension, the width WG of the underside guard 10 can be considered to extend in a second dimension and the depth DG of the underside guard 10 can be considered to extend in a third dimension. The first, second and third dimensions are orthogonal/perpendicular to one another.

The underside guard 10 includes a first side wall 1 1 , a second side wall 12, a first angled/sloping wall 13, a second angled/sloping wall 14 and a base 15. The first sloping wall 13 connects the first side wall 11 with the base 15. The second sloping wall 14 connects the second side wall 12 with the base 15. The base 15 is the lowermost portion of the underside guard 10 when the underside guard 10 forms part of an armoured vehicle. The tapered walls 13, 14 reduce the width of the underside guard 10 as they extend downwards in the depth dimension DG.

The purpose of the sloping walls 13, 14 is to direct gas, projectiles, shrapnel, blast and ejector away from the underside of an armoured vehicle, in order to mitigate or prevent damage from mines or lEDs, for example.

Fig. 2A illustrates a casing 20 containing a fibre reinforced composite material 31. Fig. 2B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the casing 20. The casing 20 may be formed from one or more metals, such as steel. The illustrated casing 20 is elongate in shape and can be considered to be a closed conduit in which the fibre reinforced composite material 31 is encased. While the illustrated casing 20 has a rectangular cross-section, in other examples it could have a different cross- section such as a square cross-section or a circular cross-section.

The casing 20 has a length l_c, a width Wc and a depth Dc. The length l_c is (much) greater than both the width Wc and the depth Dc. For example, the length l_c might be at least five times greater than both the width Wc and the depth Dc. In some embodiments, the length l_c might be at least seven times greater than both the width Wc and the depth Dc. The width Wc is greater than the depth Dc in the illustrated example, although this might not be the case in other examples.

The casing 20 includes an upper wall 21 , a first side wall 22, a second side wall 23 and a base 24. The upper wall 21 extends in the length l_c and width Wc dimensions. The first and second side walls 22, 23 are separated from each other in the width dimension Wc and extend in the length dimension l_c and the depth dimension Dc. The base 24 is separated from the upper wall 21 in the depth dimension Dc and extends in the length dimension l_c and the width dimension Wc.

The casing 20 defines a cavity in which the fibre reinforced composite material 31 is positioned. In the illustrated example, the cavity 20 is open-ended at the faces of the casing 20 defined by the width dimension Wc and the depth dimension Dc. However, in practice, each of these faces may be closed off by another wall.

The fibre reinforced composite material 31 may comprise a matrix and at least one fibrous material. The at least one fibrous material may comprise at least one of carbon fibre, glass fibre, boron fibre, aramid fibre and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.

In some implementations, the fibre reinforced composite material 31 may comprise a mixture of different types of fibres, such as two or more from the above list. For example, the fibre reinforced composite material 31 may comprise an inner/core fibrous material and an outer fibrous material that (at least partially) surrounds the inner fibrous material. The inner fibrous material may, for example, be an electrically conductive material such as carbon fibre and the outer fibrous material may be an electrically insulative material such as glass fibre. The electrically insulative material may electrically insulate the electrically conductive material from the (electrically conductive) casing 20a-20j. This may, for example, help to reduce or eliminate electrochemical corrosion that might otherwise occur if the electrically conductive material were present in a (conductive) casing without the electrically insulative material to insulate it from the casing.

The matrix may, for example, comprise a thermosetting resin or thermoplastic material.

The fibre reinforced composite material 31 may substantially fill the cavity that is defined by the casing 20. It may, for example, be shaped as a beam within the cavity of the casing 20. The fibrous material(s) may contain fibres that have a length that is aligned with the length l_c of the casing 20.

The fibre reinforced composite material 31 may, for example, exhibit an elastic modulus of at least 70GPa (e.g. for glass fibre), and preferably at least 230GPA (e.g. for carbon fibre), in response to the application of a force to the material 31 that is directed in a substantially vertical direction (aligned with the depth dimension Dc in figures 2A and 2B), substantially perpendicular to the length of the fibres in the fibrous material. The fibre reinforced composite material 31 may, for example, have a tensile strength of at least 2.5GPa.

Fig. 3A illustrates a perspective view of the armoured vehicle undershield 100. Fig. 3B illustrate a cross-sectional view of the armoured vehicle undershield 100.

The illustrated armoured vehicle undershield 100 comprises the undershield guard 10, a plurality of casings 20 as described above in relation to figures 2A and 2B, and fibre reinforced composite material 31 encased by the casings 20a-20j. Some of the casings 20a-20h are rectangular in cross-section and some of the casings 20i, 20j are square in cross-section.

A first plurality of the casings 20a, 20b, 20c are arranged lengthwise relative to the underside guard 10. That is, to some extent the lengths of the casings 20a, 20b and 20c extend along the length I_G of the underside guard 10. For instance, the lengths of the casings 20a, 20b and 20c could be arranged diagonally relative to the length I_G of the underside guard 10. In the illustrated example, the lengths of the casings 20a, 20b and 20c parallel with the length I_G of the underside guard 10, but that need not necessarily be the case in every example.

The first plurality of casings 20a, 20b, 20c are situated on the base 15 of the underside guard 10 in the example. They may be coupled to the underside guard 10 via a direct connection (e.g. by welding) to the base 15 of the underside guard 10. Alternatively, coupling between some or all of the first plurality of casings 20a, 20b, 20c and the underside guard 10 may be formed by integrally forming that/those casings 20a, 20b, 20c and the underside guard 10 as a single part. In some embodiments, a portion of the casings 20a, 20b, 20c may be provided by the underside guard 10, such as the base 24, and the other walls 21-23 forming the casings 20a, 20b, 20c may be connected to the underside guard 10, for example by welding.

A second plurality of casings 20d-20h are arranged widthwise relative to the underside guard 10. That is, to some extent the lengths of the casings 20d-20h extend along the width dimension WG of the underside guard 10. For instance, the lengths of the casings 20d-20h could be arranged diagonally relative to the width dimension WG of the underside guard 10 (and diagonally relative to the lengths of the first plurality of casings 20a-20c). In the illustrated example, the lengths of the casings 20d-20h are parallel with the width dimension WG of the underside guard 10 and substantially perpendicular to the lengths of the first plurality of casings 20a-20c, but that need not necessarily be the case in every example.

The second plurality of casings 20d-20h is situated on the first plurality of casings 20a- 20c and the tapered walls 13, 14 of the underside guard 10 in the example. Each of the second plurality of casings 20d-20h is coupled to the underside guard 10. This may be via a direct connection to one or more of the first plurality of casings 20a-20c (e.g. by welding) and/or via a connection to the tapered walls 13, 14 of the underside guard 10 (e.g. by welding).

The coupling between some or all of the second plurality of casings 20d-20h and the first plurality of casings 20a-20c and/or the coupling between some or all of the second plurality of casings 20d-20h and the underside guard 10 may be formed by integrally forming that/those casings 20d-20h with the first plurality of casings 20a-20c and/or the underside guard 10 as a single part.

In some embodiments, a portion of the casings 20d-20h may be provided by the first plurality of casings 20a-20c and/or underside guard 10, such as the base 24, and the other walls 21-23 forming the casings 20d-20h may be connected to the underside guard 10, for example by welding.

Optionally, a third plurality of casings 20i-20j are arranged lengthwise relative to the underside guard 10. That is, to some extent the lengths of the casings 20i-20j extend along the length dimension LG of the underside guard 10. For instance, the lengths of the casings 20i-20j could be arranged diagonally relative to the length dimension LG of the underside guard 10. In the illustrated example, the lengths of the casings 20i-20j are parallel with the length dimension LG of the underside guard 10, parallel with the lengths of the first plurality of casings 20a-20c and perpendicular to the lengths of the second plurality of casings 20d-20h, but this need not necessarily be the case in every example.

The third plurality of casings 20i-20j is spaced from the first plurality of casings 20a- 20c in both the depth dimension DG of the underside guard 10 and the width dimension WG of the underside guard 10.

Figures 3A and 3B illustrate the third plurality of casings 20i-20j situated on the second plurality of casings 20d-20h. The third plurality of casings 20i-20j are coupled to the underside guard 10. For example, they may be connected to the side walls 1 1 , 12 (e.g. by welding) and/or connected to the second plurality of casings 20d-20h (e.g. by welding).

The coupling between some or all of the third plurality of casings 20i-20j and the second plurality of casings 20d-20h and/or the coupling between some or all of the third plurality of casings 20i-20j and the underside guard 10 may be formed by integrally forming that/those casings 20i-20j with the second plurality of casings 20i- 20j and/or the underside guard 10 as a single part. In some embodiments, a portion of the casings 20i-20j may be provided by the second plurality of casings 20d-20h (such as the base 24) and/or underside guard 10 (such as a side wall 22, 23) and the other walls forming the casings 20i-20j may be connected to the underside guard 10, for example by welding.

The underside guard 10 provides an outer surface of a vehicle and faces ground in use. As shown most clearly in figure 3B, a sandwich structure is provided by each of the first, second and third casings 20a-20i containing the fibre reinforced material 31 which provides reinforcement in the depth dimension DG. The presence of the fibre reinforced composite material 31 provides particular resistance to shearing, for example.

The first layer of casings 20a-20c is positioned above the lowermost outer surface of the underside guard 10 (provided by the base 15) in the depth dimension DG and below the second and third layers of casings 20d-20i. The second layer of casings 20d-20h is positioned above the first layer of casings 20a-20c and below the third layer of casings 20i-20j in the depth dimension DG. The third layer of casings 20i-20j is positioned above the second layer of casings 20d-20h in the depth dimension DG. Advantageously, the armoured vehicle undershield 100 illustrated in figures 3A and 3B and described above provides a particularly robust defence against explosions that occur underneath or at the side of a vehicle. The strength and resistance to deformation provided by the sandwich structure formed by the casings 20a-20j and the fibre reinforced composite material 31 contained within them is greater than that of the casings 20a-20j alone and the underside guard 10 alone. The presence of the fibre reinforced composite material 31 within the casings 20a-20j and its arrangement in the undershield 100 mitigates or prevents deformation of the undershield 100 following an explosion. Earlier prior art undershields that do not include fibre reinforced composite material 31 may be more prone to deforming in response to an explosion and therefore offer less protection for the vehicle and its occupants.

The armoured vehicle undershield 100 described above also has an advantage in that its depth dimension DG is relatively compact, which means that the armoured vehicle may in turn have a reduced height, and thereby provide a smaller target for enemies to attack. Reference is made above to "coupling" the casings 20a-20i to one another and to "coupling" the casings 20a-20i to the underside guard 10. This is intended to refer to the functional coupling of these elements to create a mechanical system. The actual method that is used to manufacture these elements 10,20a-20i and connect them together is unimportant. The reference to "coupling" is not intended to mean it is necessary for the casings 20a-20i to be manufactured separately from the underside guard 10 and then subsequently joined to the underside guard 10 (e.g. by welding or otherwise). Indeed, in some embodiments a portion or the whole of one or more of the casings 20a-20i may be integrally formed with the underside guard 10.

Although embodiments of the present invention have been described in the preceding paragraphs with reference to various examples, it should be appreciated that modifications to the examples given can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as claimed. For example, some or all of the casings 20a-20j may be shaped differently (e.g. have a different cross-sectional shape). Some of the casings 20a-20j may have a different structure, such as the third plurality of casings 20i-20j, which could instead be made from solid metal without any fibre reinforced composite material 31.

Where a structural feature has been described, it may be replaced by means for performing one or more of the functions of the structural feature whether that function or those functions are explicitly or implicitly described. Features described in the preceding description may be used in combinations other than the combinations explicitly described.

Although functions have been described with reference to certain features, those functions may be performable by other features whether described or not.

Although features have been described with reference to certain embodiments, those features may also be present in other embodiments whether described or not.

Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features of the invention believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon. l/we claim:




 
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