Menatek Adds Torsion Bar Design and Testing to its List of Capabilities
Menatek, a supplier of key subsystems for many armoured vehicle users worldwide, has added yet another competence to its existing skill portfolio. Having already established itself as a producer of torsion bars for tracked armoured vehicles, the company has recently acquired the capability to design and test these products from scratch, thanks to extensive investments in infrastructure and human resources.
Menatek is already producing torsion bars for 12 different tracked armoured vehicles of different classes, including main battle tanks (MBTs), infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), armoured combat vehicles (ACVs), armoured personnel carriers (APCs), amphibious assault vehicles and self-propelled howitzers. Among the vehicles currently being supplied are the M1 Abrams and the M60 MBTs, the M109 self-propelled howitzer and the M2 Bradley, the M113 and the AAV7 armoured vehicles.
Through its investments into this field, the company has gained capabilities that will allow it to fashion torsion bars from scratch in line with customer requirements. The company’s self-designed testing units furnish it with the ability to carry out lifespan tests on its torsion bars, which is a service that, it began offering to its customers.
At Menatek, the development of torsion bars from scratch – including all engineering, production, testing and qualification processes – takes between 8 and 12 weeks, resulting in a product that is ready for serial production.
From Design to Procurement; from Production to Qualification
The company maintains a list of approved suppliers for its raw material needs, but now possesses also the infrastructure to test and approve materials to be procured for the first time, in the event of new products designed from scratch requiring different inputs.
Aside from torsion bars, Menatek also produces road arm assemblies, track tensioners, road wheels, idler wheels, track shoe assemblies, pins and centre guides, offering its customers a full range of suspension and running gear for tracked armoured vehicles as a complete solution.
Speaking to MSI TDR about their newly-gained capabilities, Naz Ünal, Marketing and Business Development Director at Menatek said: “Through new investments, we have taken the technical knowledge and experience on torsion bars that we have acquired over the years a step further. We can now develop from scratch these complex products that require detailed engineering calculations and special production techniques, and that is very difficult to procure around the world. Although this is a very recent development, we have already engaged in talks with the leading players in the sector, both at home and abroad, regarding product development efforts.”
Torsion Bars: Indispensable Components of Tracked Armoured Vehicles
Different tracked armoured vehicles around the world make use of a variety of different suspension systems, the most common and prevalent among which are torsion bar suspension systems. Tracked armoured vehicles using this system transfer all their weight through torsion bars onto the road arms, which then transfer the weight onto the road wheels and, finally, onto the tracks.
This system’s popularity stems from the various advantages its holds over its rivals, which can be listed briefly as its reduced need for maintenance; its simple architecture, resulting from less moving parts; and its taking up less space in the vehicle.
In simple terms, torsion bars can be described as flexible rods that, upon being subject to sufficient stress, twist spirally along their longest axis, and reassume their original form once the applied stress has been removed. A vehicle moving over rough terrain transfers the impact on its tracks and road wheels to the torsion bars via its road arms, which is why torsion bars have to be flexible enough to absorb repeated shocks, over and over again, without deformation. Accordingly, the design of such parts requires intensive engineering work and experience.