Design is always an important consideration for equipment used by the U.S. Military. Computers face extreme conditions. In addition, size and weight matter, as there is no room for oversized equipment. The MSD V2, manufactured by VT Miltope, a Vision Technology Systems company, is a versatile and compact laptop that takes advantage of the properties of magnesium to deliver ruggedness as well as lighter weight. Use of magnesium enabled the thin wall sections needed for the critical electrical components inside.
Miltope’s decades of design and development experience, coupled with relationships with major suppliers such as Phillips, resulted in a laptop that surpassed the demands of the military. This computer is reliable under demanding conditions due to its magnesium foundation. The computer’s rugged characteristics give this military tool the strength to withstand many environmental challenges including:
- Temperatures of -25˚ F to 149˚ F
- Solar radiation
- Shock and vibration
- High altitudes
- 10% to 95% humidity
- Driving rain
- Sand and dust
- Explosive atmospheres
- Salt fog
Magnesium Alloy AZ91D is a material with space efficient design possibilities. Designs made from magnesium are often 20 times stiffer than typical thermoplastics and display superior impact resistance. Magnesium’s material density of 0.065 lb/in.3 compares favorably with most thermoplastics and offers a significant increase in mechanical properties.
Magnesium parts are customarily molded with nominal wall thickness down to 0.020 in., for high-strength precise moldings. Lastly, magnesium housings and enclosures are electrically conductive and provide effective EMI shielding without the use of fillers.
Phillips Plastics Corporation
Filed Under: Design World articles, Materials • advanced
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