Building Materials Used Inside The Home And The Military

You may be surprised to find that some of the materials used to build your home are also being used by the military to protect your home.

Here are some of the applications of various materials in building military vehicles and the home.

1. Acoustic insulation

Foams made out of polyester or polyethylene are designed to absorb and deflect some sound waves. For homes with a recording studio or an entertainment room, acoustic foam can be fastened to the space’s walls, ceilings, doors and other openings to lock out sounds or control noise levels within the space itself.

Jeeps, tanks and other similar types of vehicles can produce a significant amount of noise. Insulation materials are installed to protect the ears of the soldiers and military personnel.  It is used to dampen the sound coming from the engine and outside environment.

Closed cell acoustic foams are more commonly used in underwater vehicles than land cars.

2. Thermal insulation

Polyethylene foams have a number of other desirable properties. Sheets and planks feature anti-static and flame retardant properties.

In homes, thermal insulation materials are used to fill up the cavities in between the walls and the roof. This prevents the heat from escaping. Keeping the heat allows homeowners to save on energy costs, especially during the cold winter months.

In military vehicles, polyethylene in particular is used as thermal insulation to protect soldiers from heat producing engines.. Engines can get very hot. By using this material, the heat is deflected away from the vehicle’s cab compartment.

Fireproof rubber is another popular thermal material used in home construction and military equipment. In homes, recycled rubber tiles are labelled as Class A roofing material. Its fire retardant properties can protect the home from going up in flames due to lightning strikes or sparks from a neighboring fire. When installed on military vehicles, the material acts as a thermal insulator and a vapor barrier.

Another material that works as an effective thermal insulator is silicone. Silicone has the ability to resist high temperatures. The material is also effective in dousing firestocks.

3. Vibration dampers

Most, if not all, appliances, equipment and devices produce some level of vibration. The amount of vibration a device produces varies from one model to another. Too much vibration can cause the parts to quickly wear out. As a result, the device may produce louder sounds than it is designed to. Over time, it may work more slowly or stop altogether.

Some electronics have a built in vibration damper to protect the internal parts from premature damage due to the vibrations produced by the device. The damper absorbs and redirects the vibrations and shocks. Computers are examples of devices that have built in dampers.

In military vehicles, dampers function as shock absorbers. They can be found in floor matting inside military vehicles. Built in vibration dampers protect the personnel inside the vehicle from shocks, blast waves and other types of vibrations caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

4. Composites

Composites include two or more materials that have different physical and chemical properties.

The goal is to create a material that includes all of the desirable features of different materials or one that is more superior. In homes, composites have a variety of uses.  It is used in bath tubs and shower stalls, window frames, doors and decking.

This material also holds a lot of potential in military applications. Compared to steel, composites are stronger but lighter. They are resistant to corrosion and have an infinite fatigue life.

There are composites that dampen vibrations and provide thermal and acoustic insulation.  Research is being conducted on using composites on watercraft, uniforms for soldiers and the armor on military vehicles.

Other applications for composites include:

  • Containers for missiles
  • Panels for radar equipment
  • Avionic racking and cabinets
  • Floor tiles and matting
  • Boxes used to transport goods
  • Doors and covers
  • Sensor probes
  • Spall liners
  • Add-on armor
  • Protection for gunners, weapon stations and optronic equipment
  • Defense against landmines
  • Thermal-proof panel

And there you have it, the different applications of materials in the home and the military. These materials may appear ordinary, but because of how they react to heat, noise and vibrations, their applications can be used in residential spaces and beyond.


Miles Chambers

Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager, NIMR Automotive LLC

Miles Chambers joined NIMR Automotive in October 2016 as Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager. In this capacity, Miles oversees NIMR Automotive’s expansion to Global markets, particularly into Europe and Southeast Asia. In addition to his responsibilities at NIMR Automotive, Miles is the Chairman of the Azerbaijan-South Africa Chamber of Commerce.


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