DuraShock™ (SiC/B4C) – Ceramic Armor

DuraShock™ is a Silicon Carbide / Boron Carbide ceramic composite, developed to give the very best combination of ballistic performance, weight, and pricing. It provides a credible alternative to pure Boron Carbide.

DuraShock™ is lightweight while maintaining the highest protection, up to threat level IV and beyond. It is suitable for even the most demanding and weight-sensitive applications. This composite brings together the unrivaled hardness and weight-savings of Boron Carbide, along with the economical advantage of Silicon Carbide, producing a hard, tough, lightweight ceramic suitable for use when high threat level protection is required.

Material Advantages

  • Improved impact behavior
  • Consistently performs above similar hybrids
  • Lightweight for ballistic protection applications where pure Silicon Carbide is too heavy
  • Unique microstructure with aggregated SiC provides toughening by crack deflection
  • Price competitive against traditional pure Boron Carbides
  • High hardness, low density, high melting point, high elastic modulus, and chemical inertness
  • High neutron absorption cross-section
  • Excellent thermoelectric properties
  • Consolidation by pressureless sintering – economical process with ability to form complex shapes
  • Further densification possible without changing the material characteristics
  • Complex shapes and access apertures are feasible even in small batch quantities

Applications

  • Bullet-resistant Armor Plates
  • Body Armor
  • Helicopter Panels
  • Lightweight Vehicle Protection Panels

Material Properties

PropertyUnitSilicon Carbide (SiC)DuraShock (SiC+B4C)Boron Carbide (B4C)
Densityg/cm33.12.82.52
HardnessGPa282833
Fracture Toughness KICMPa m24.642.5
Compressive StrengthMPa280025003000
Flexural Strength @ 25°CMPa410330420

1 KIc Toughness as measured by the indentation method.

Disclaimer: The values presented are mean and typical of those resulted from test samples. They are provided as an indication only to serve as guidance in the design of ceramic components and are not guaranteed in any way. The actual values can vary according to the shape and size of the envisioned component.

Datasheets

DuraShock Ballistic Armor

Boron Carbide / Silicon Carbide Composite

DuraShock

DuraShock™ Under the Microscope

DuraShock Microscope
  • Silicon Carbide aggregates – the key behind crack deflection and exceptional ballistic properties
  • Superior performance vs. all other tested hybrids
  • Only surpassed by hot pressed Boron Carbide
  • Can potentially protect against WC cored threats

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is ceramic used in body armor?

    The combination of low specific weight, high hardness, and reasonable toughness makes it a great material for body and vehicle armor. The weight reduction achieved with lightweight ceramics like DuraShock™ compared to steel or heavier ceramics is substantial and allows the vehicle to take on more cargo or ammunition. For these reasons, it is a popular alternative to steel armor and offers extra comfort and flexibility in body armor, allowing the wearer to move more freely.

  • What is DuraShock™ ceramic armor made of?

    DuraShock™ is a Boron Carbide/Silicon Carbide ceramic composite, developed to give the very best combination of high ballistic performance with weight-saving considerations, while maintaining a reasonable cost. It’s a material developed and sold by Precision Ceramics.

  • What is the difference between DuraShock™ and other ceramic armor?

    Both Boron Carbide and Silicon Carbide are excellent armor materials in their own rights, each with advantages and disadvantages. For example, Boron Carbide is very light and provides a very good level of protection, but it is brittle and very expensive to manufacture. Silicon Carbide is more economical to produce, but it is heavier and its performance is less than that of Boron Carbide. DuraShock™ effectively combines the advantages of both while minimizing the disadvantages. With DuraShock™, the performance is comparable to that of Boron Carbide for a price more indicative of Silicon Carbide.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Ceramic Armor over Steel?

    There are differing factors when comparing ceramic and steel body armor. Below is a list of some of the advantages and disadvantages of ceramic armor in comparison to steel.

    Advantages

    • Lightweight – ceramic plates weigh considerably less than steel and in some cases the weight can be halved
    • Ceramic armor protects against high-caliber weapons whereas steel is vulnerable (NIJ Lever 4 AP M2 or similar)
    • Increased flexibility of ceramic armor which increases effectiveness in combat situations
    • Ceramic armor is more stable than steel, meaning it is easy to store without worrying about armor degradation
    • Steel armor tends to cause ricochet and is shrapnel-prone, both of which are not found with ceramic armor

    Disadvantages

    • In most cases after ceramic armor has suffered an impact, it cannot be used again and is more brittle than steel
    • Steel has a longer lifespan when compared to ceramic armor
    • Steel armor is usually cheaper