Develop Aluminum Metal Matrix Components (Al MMC) and Manufacturing Applications for both Military and Commercial Vehicles

Period of Performance: 11/12/2008 - 11/12/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

GS Engineering, Inc.
47500 US Hwy 41 Array
Houghton, MI 49931
Principal Investigator


GS Engineering has developed a lightweight aluminum metal matrix brake drum that was demonstrated under Phase I to pass the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 121 dynamometer performance test at 10,000 lb axle rating. The aluminum MMC brake drum is 45% lighter than the comparable cast iron brake drum, offering significant potential weight savings to both military and commercial vehicles. Continuation of this development effort will focus three areas, 1) optimizing the casting process to produce a sound composite casting, 2) optimize the friction couple - the MMC surface and the liner materials, and 3) inertia dynamometer testing to ensure long term durability. This development effort will be focused on producing lightweight brake drums that are ready for vehicle testing. Once the lightweight brake drum concept has been fully proven, the design work will commence on larger aluminum MMC brake drums where even greater weight savings is expected.