2005 Introduction of bullet trapping foamed concrete for live-fire training ranges Southeast

Award Year 

Dr. Charles A. Weiss, Jr., Dr. Philip G. Maloneand Joe G. Tom developed, patented andintroduced into the commercial sector a foamedfiber-reinforced concrete that can be cast inblocks and panels that capture impactingbullets without producing dangerous ricochets.The concrete formulation was originallydeveloped for use in Army live-fire trainingmazes and enclosures for grenade training. Thedevelopment team modified the composition ofthe concrete to minimize the leaching of leadand other potential pollutants from the foamedconcrete, resulting in a nonhazardous (more) materialfor disposal purposes. In addition, the resultingmaterial is fireproof and has improvedversatility. The estimated savings to the Armyare $180 million per year. In order to transferthe technology to the private sector, the federalteam worked with industry partners throughCRADAs to improve the technology and tobenefit from the partner’s experience marketingthe new material.The interaction with CRADA partners resultedin three patents being issued, with the CRADApartners securing licenses to the newtechnology. To promote product identity, theArmy filed for and was issued the trademarkSACON® for this unique concrete product. Theresearch team presented and published fourresearch papers on the technical developmentsassociated with the SACON® product. In 2003,the first civilian firing range constructed usingSACON® was built in Springfield, Ohio.In 2004, in a ground-breaking agreement, theGeotechnical and Structures Laboratory issueda license to Mississippi Prison IndustriesCorporation. This license was unique in that itprovided federally developed technology to astate-owned, not-for-profit corporation, makingSACON® economically available to lawenforcement groups across the country. (less)