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Wyoming-Based Kennon Products Researches Impact Absorbing System For Military Vehicles

Area Development Online News Desk (03/21/2014)
Kennon Products Inc., of Sheridan, Wyoming, plans to research an impact absorbing system that could reduce injuries of military members involved in underbody blast, rollover and crash events, with assistance from a small business initiative grant.

The firm is working to develop an impact absorbing material that would be installed in the interiors and headlining areas of combat tactical vehicles. The headlining system would be used to reduce head and neck injuries due to collision with the ceiling during impact.

The Wyoming Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, or SBIR/STTR, are sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council and administered by the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development.

According to the Wyoming Business Council, Kennon received a $5,000 Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative award to pursue a Department of Defense Army Phase I SBIR award. The funding will allow Kennon engineers to work with University of Wyoming Mechanical Engineering faculty to develop and test a proposed advanced material system, as well as develop computer models that will provide predictive design tools for other military applications that suffer from impact related damage. The funding will also provide for a grants writer to write the proposal for the Department of Defense.

Mark Weitz, Vice President of Research and Development at Kennon, said the company has developed technologies under previous SBIR projects for NAVAIR that will be readily adaptable to the new application. “We hope our previous work will give us a competitive advantage,” said Weitz. “We very much enjoy developing advanced material systems. When we can do so to help protect our warfighters, it greatly increases our motivation and our satisfaction.”

“Kennon Products Inc., has developed a superior methodology in protecting high value assets for the military, particularly that most highly valued asset, the warfighter,” said Gene Watson, WSSI Director. “This project is a natural extension of their past successes in accomplishing this most important goal.”

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