Ceramics for Ballistic Protection Applications

There is an ongoing need to reduce the weight load carried by the dismounted soldier without compromising on performance of the armour system. Currently Boron Carbide is the only material capable of fulfilling this task due to its intrinsic low density and very high hardness.

Unfortunately, the high hardness of the material comes together with a modest fracture toughness which makes the Boron Carbide material very brittle.

One possible way to increase the toughness is to combine the Boron Carbide with other hard ceramic materials and create ceramic composites.

These ranges of composite materials are a unique offering commercially and could provide a solution to the on-going problem of limited wearability of armour gear (e.g. restrictive weight) while not compromising on protection level.

So far work at Precision Ceramics concentrated on a range of compositional ratios and was successful in ascertain the mechanical properties and the optimal sintering schedule for the mentioned ratios. This resulted in two distinct ceramic composites; DuraShock and DuraWear.

DuraShock in Ballistic Armor

» Boron Carbide-Silicon Carbide Hybrid

» Lightweight whilst maintaining the highest protection

» Up to threat level IV and beyond

» Unique microstructure leading to improved impact behaviour

» Consistently performs above similar hybrids

» Suitable for even the most demanding and weight sensitive applications

Material Properties

The below table compares the material properties of Boron Carbide and Precision Ceramics Boron Carbide/Silicon Carbide ceramic composites; DuraWear and DuraShock:

Unit
Boron Carbide (B4C)
DuraWear (B4C+SiC)
DuraShock (SiC+B4C)
Density
g/cm3
2.52
2.62
2.8
Hardness HV0.5
GPa
33
31
28
Fracture Toughness KIC
MPa / m2
2.5
3.4
4
Compressive Strength
MPa
3000
2900
2500
Flexural Strength
MPa
420
340
330

* 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 envisaged component.

Datasheets

Boron-Silicon Carbide DuraShock Material Brand

Boron-Silicon Carbide

DuraShock

Boron Carbide DuraWear Material Brand

Boron-Silicon Carbide

DuraWear

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