Sustainable approach to tank preservation

| Industrial Sector News

University Research and lottery funding is helping preserve military heritage

Bournemouth University has been working with The Tank Museum in Dorset to find sustainable ways to preserve historical tanks to extend the design life.

Bournemouth University’s Zulfiqar Khan, Professor of Design Engineering and Computing, has developed new conservation facilities, install humidity and temperature sensors, live-corrosion condition monitoring and implemented a controlled environment at the museum.

Reversing the effects of the structural degradation is a key priority for the fleet of 300 military vehicles because they have significant historical biographies which are examples of British engineering heritage.

The different materials, types of systems and mechanical failures that occurred in the tanks were compared to explore what control measures could be put in place to reverse the failed mechanisms.

The Museum secured £2.5m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to invest in the Vehicle Conservation Centre, which provides a controlled environment and helps slow down deterioration in these vehicles.

Bournemouth University Professor Zulfiqar Khan said, “I started work with the Tank Museum in 2009 because I wanted to develop a sustainable method of conserving large military vehicles in the museum.”

Director of The Tank Museum Richard Smith added, “Before Bournemouth University started working with us we had no research to help us protect these historical works of engineering. Without data it was impossible to make evidence-based decisions about the best way to preserve the tanks.

“But now with over ten years’ worth of research from the BU team, we are looking forward to the future and making better informed decisions on how to look after the tanks for future generations to come and see.”

Jonathan Newell
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