Refurbishment of M2A1 Ammunition Container
The M2A1 is a small ammunition container that is manufactured from thinner steel than standard containers and finished with a variety of coatings including powder rather than paint; it was originally designed as single use only.
Austin Hayes developed a method of blasting the containers with a custom blend of plastic media rather than steel shot. This custom blend of abrasive media was developed over many months and it took several attempts to get the combination of type 2 fractured fully cured amino mouldings and aluminium oxide in the correct proportions.
In 2012 we invested in four hand blast cabinets in which to process the containers and these have recently been replaced with upgraded models.
This method of blasting removes 100% of the powder coating whereas our standard steel blasting process would remove only a minimal amount. Also, the steel substrate was undamaged and there was no loss of material, meaning that the container could be refurbished and re-used; thus saving the Ministry of Defence the difference between the refurbishment price and the cost of a new container, approximately 44%.
The containers were thoroughly tested by the MoD and proved to be ‘fit for purpose’ and acceptable as a refurbished container.
We have processed over 100,000 M2A1 containers between 2012 and 2015, saving the MoD over £200,000.