Rapid Deployment Military Bridge Shows Off Aluminum Extrusion’s Advantages
System can be deployed in as little as 80 minutes with 10-12 soldiers
High strength-to-weight ratio, ability to design specific functional features, and ease of fabrication and assembly are just a few of the advantages that aluminum extrusions bring to the Rapid Deployment Military Bridge by MAADI Group in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The bridge arrives onsite as a kit of parts and can be deployed by 10-12 soldiers in as little as 1 hour 20 minutes due, in part, to aluminum’s light weight (aluminum is one-third the weight of steel), thus making aluminum extrusions easier to handle, less expensive to ship, and easy to assemble without heavy equipment compared to a similar steel design. Plus, aluminum’s corrosion resistance keeps the bridge attractive and viable without any coating needed except for aesthetics.
“Our system and process is quick and simple, and this project revolutionizes the business. It’s like assembling Lego® blocks,” says MAADI Group president Alexandre de la Chevrotière. “Eleven of these structures have been sold outside to civilian organizations and this [was] the first one being tested by the Military,” adds de la Chevrotière.
This bridge system has since been “successfully completed” and the company is now working on similar projects.
The bridge design is 18 meters (60 feet) in length and has the ability to support the passage of small motorized vehicles such as snowmobiles and recreational vehicles; up to 137 soldiers can cross at the same time.
Aluminum alloy 6005A-T6 was used for the main bearing structure highlighted by unwelded components (parts fit together and are connected with bolts). Several 8-inch extruded sections form the decking. The frame is supported by rugged bolts, and underwent significant resistance testing in conjunction with the University of Waterloo.
Chevrotière is optimistic about the bridge’s useful deployment. “If the tests are conclusive, it will be a fantastic opportunity for us to develop rapid deployment bridges for military purposes or public security in case of flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes. We believe the demand for such solutions will be increasing in the next decade.”
For more information, visit the MAADI Group online at www.maadigroup.com.