U.S. Army Upgrades Howitzers
The M777A2 howitzer, artillery equipment used by the U.S. Army, has a breech spindle that seals the chamber to hold pressure and prevent gas leaks during firing. Chromium plating applied to the spindle was corroding while the part was still viable. This meant Army personnel had to replace the spindles well before they reached their usable end-of-life.
The Aberdeen Test Center compared surface treatment technologies using multiple howitzer breech spindles with live firing. To simulate combat conditions, treated spindles were also weathered for 30 days in a caustic acid and acidic propellant by-product, followed by more firing and a second weathering treatment. Chrome-coated spindles showed severe corrosion; FortiPhy XVD spindle performance was commandingly better.
The U.S. Army is now using breech spindles treated with FortiPhy XVD. Officials at the Picatinny Arsenal estimate savings of more than $5 million over the life of the M777A2 howitzer.
FortiPhy XVD was one of 12 surface treatment systems tested and compared. This technology, exclusive to Phygen, proved superior to all others.
The U.S. Army chose 12 competing technologies for testing and evaluation. Of the 12 systems examined, Phygen FortiPhy XVD provided the best corrosion and wear protection.