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Army installs windshield coatings on Humvees destined for Iraq.

A peel-away coating used to protect Humvee windshields, earlier reported as a failure by the U.S Army's Tank and Automotive and Armaments Command, is now moving forward.

TACOM officials told National Defense last fall there would be no further work performed on the product because it caused bubbling and distorting effects on windshields. However, that problem has been solved and the project remains viable, officials now assert.

The cause of failure was not related to the mating of the Mylar laminates to the Humvee's glass-polycarbonate windshield, officials said. Rather, it was caused by a thorough application of a preservative known as Carwell to the M1114 up-armored Humvee. The preservative is applied to the Humvee before the installation of the tear-off coating. It leaves a residue on the windshield that is difficult to see, and more importantly, it is virtually impossible to remove using standard cleaners.

The Carwell residue also seeps under the windshield molding, which, along with the residue remaining on the windshield, reactivates once it comes into contact with the water that is used to install the tear-off. This breaks down the adhesives, causing the peeling and bubbling.

Currently, 100 windshield tear-offs have been installed on production M1114 Humvees. They have been sent to Iraq to test their performance, and are being tracked by serial number. TACOM planned to send 24 tear-offs in March to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. They will be installed and tested on three different types of Humvees.

TACOM is seeking funds to continue this project for medium and heavy tactical vehicles. The coatings are made by Cole Motorsports, which initially designed the tear-off coatings for NASCAR racecars.
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Author:Pappalardo, Joe
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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