DuraShock™ (SiC+B4C) – Ceramic Armor

Lightweight whilst maintaining the highest protection, up to threat level IV and beyond. Suitable for even the most demanding and weight sensitive applications.

DuraShock™ is a Boron Carbide/Silicon Carbide ceramic composite, developed to give the very best combination of high ballistic performance with weight saving considerations at prices that are very attractive.

Durashock™ provides a credible alternative to using Pure Boron Carbide.

Durashock™ composite brings together the unrivalled hardness and weight saving of Boron Carbide, along with the advantages of Silicon Carbide, producing a hard, tough, lightweight ceramic suitable for use when high threat level protection is required, in applications when weight saving and cost are important factors.

Key Properties

  • Improved impact behaviour
  • Consistently performes 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, chemical inertness
  • High neutron absorption cross-section
  • Excellent thermoelectric properties
  • Consolidation by pressure less sintering – economical process with ability to form complex shapes
  • Further densification possible without changing the material characteristics
  • All allow for complex shapes and access apertures to be easily incorporated, even in small batch quantities


  • Bullet Resistant Armor Plates
  • Body Armor
  • Helicopters Panels
  • Light Weight Vehicle Protection Panels

Material Properties

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

Boron Carbide (B4C)
DuraWear (B4C+SiC)
DuraShock (SiC+B4C)
Fracture Toughness KIC
MPa m2
Compressive Strength
Flexural Strength @ 25°C

* 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.

DuraShock™ Under the 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

Related Materials

Boron Carbide DuraWear Material Brand

Boron Carbide

DuraWear™ & DuraShock™

Boron Carbide (B4C), also known as black diamond, is the third hardest material after diamond and cubic boron nitride. It is a suitable material for many high performance applications due to its attractive combination of properties.

Silicon Nitride CeramaSil-C Material Brand

Silicon Carbide


Silicon Carbide (SiC) is one of the lightest, hardest, and strongest advanced ceramic materials with exceptional thermal conductivity, acid resistance, and low thermal expansion.

Frequently Asked Questions

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    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™ vs. 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.

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    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.

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    Steel vs ceramic armor, what are the benefits?

    There are differing factors when comparing steel and ceramic body armor. Below is a list of some of the benefits and draw backs of ceramic armor in comparison to steel:


    • 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 as 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 its easy to store without worrying about armor degradation
    • Steel armor tends to cause ricochet and is shrapnel prone both of which is not found with ceramic armor


    • In most cases after cermic 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
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    What is the difference between DuraShock™ and other ceramic armor?

    DuraShock™ is a ceramic ceramic composite between BoronCarbide and Silicon Carbide.

    Both Boron Carbide and Silicon Carbide are excellent armour 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 its brittle and very expensive to manufacture. Silicon Carbide is more economical to produce but it’s heavier and its performance is less than that of Boron Carbide. DuraShock™ effectively combines the advantages of both while minimising the disadvantages. With DuraShock™ the performance is comparable to that of Boron Carbide for a price more indicative of Silicon Carbide.