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An Example in Steel Casting
The Ice Cleat on the M1 Abrams Tank

The Application  The M1 Abrams tank uses rubber pads on the track to provide traction and reduce track noise.   But under icy road conditions in hilly terrain,  the rubber pads on the track  loose traction, just like automobile tires loose traction on snow and ice in winter.  On your car, you install tire chains in winter.  The Army uses "ice cleats" on the track of the M1 tank to give more "bite" and to provide traction on icy, hilly roads and terrain.  

The "ice cleats" are steel plates with an X-shaped cleat extending out from the base.  They are substituted for the rubber pads on every fifth shoe on the tank track.  Each tank uses  two sets of 32 ice cleats for winter traction. 

Winter Tank2.gif (79553 bytes)

M1 Abrams Tank on a Winter Road

Ice Cleat Description  The ice cleat weighs approximately  8 pounds and has a footprint of  6" x 7" and a height of 2 ".  It is bolted to the track shoe using the same mounting system used for the rubber pads.  

The current ice cleat design calls for a heat-treated forging made from 4140  or 4340 steel alloy for high strength and toughness to survive road abrasion and impact at sub-zero temperatures.  

The finished cleat requires dimensional tolerances on the order of 0.06" to fit snuggly into the track shoe.   The only machining requirements are a drilled and tapped hole for the mounting stud and  3 milled locator pads on the flat face of the cleat.



 Steel__Rubber.jpg (19767 bytes)

Track Section with  Steel Ice Cleat 
and  Standard Rubber Pad 



Acknowledgement -- 
The metalcasting design examples are a joint effort of the
Steel Founders' Society of American and the American Foundrymen’s Society.
Project funding was provided by the American Metal Casting Consortium Project, which is sponsored by the
Defense Logistics Agency, Attn: DLSC-T, Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-6221

SFSA- Ladle  Last Modified  December, 1998  by STG
Copyright 1995 - '98 by Steel Founders' Society Of America. 
All rights reserved.  
Address Comments to:monroe@sfsa.org