Implications for Alcoa and others helping supply aluminum plates?
The MRAP has higher clearance and a curved hull below the vehicle, which serves to deflect explosions. Inside the vehicle, blast-proof seats are positioned up front to absorb the shock of an explosion for the driver and passenger seats, and in the back are shock-proof seats that stabilize soldiers in the event of an explosion, as long as they have their feet off the ground. Three- to 4-inch bulletproof glass accompanies armored steel plates that surround the vehicle — 5/8-inch on the top and doors and ½-inch everywhere else. The inside is coated with a liner made from
aluminum and Kevlar, which is designed to absorb an explosion if it breaches the steel.
“We switched to using steel armored plates instead of the original aluminum because steel is a much tougher metal, and we also realized that aluminum releases toxins that can kill soldiers when it becomes severely damaged. Steel does not have that effect,” said Littleton Cutler, a subcontractor for BAE, the designer of the MRAP that toured the plants and one of several contractors overall.
The description in the story indicates the continued use of an aluminum interior lining, so apparently the amount of aluminum in the hull makes a significant difference in the potential release of toxins.