One of the most valuable characteristics of advanced ceramics in high-performance applications is their extreme hardness. Ultra Hard ceramic materials have been utilised to enhance the performance of ballistic armour , where many grades are used in multiple applications from body amour to vehicle and helicopter armour . The use of wear parts to replace steel components in pumps , motor vehicles and valves has increased extending component lifetimes.

There are two materials which are only surpassed by diamond in terms of hardness – Boron Carbide (B4C) and Silicon Carbide (SiC). Precision Ceramics DuraWear™ a Boron Carbide based composite ceramics and Durashock™ a Boron Carbide/Silicon Carbide ceramic composite are extremely hard and only available at Precision Ceramics.


Materials Ranked by Hardness

In terms of hardness, between DuraWear™ and Durashock™ there’s not much to choose between them but each has its own specific advantages in terms of properties and applications. This is followed by Silicon Carbide (SiC), one of the lightest, hardest and strongest advanced ceramics.

Boron Carbide DuraWear Material Brand

Boron-Silicon Carbide (B4C-SiC) - DuraWear™

31 GPa
DuraWear™ is a Boron Carbide based hard ceramic composite for abrasive wear protection. With a high
intrinsic hardness for applications where abrasive wear is an issue.
Boron-Silicon Carbide DuraShock Material Brand

Boron-Silicon Carbide (B4C-SiC) - DuraShock™

28 GPa
DuraShock™ is a Boron-Silicon Carbide tough and hard lightweight ceramic composites for ballistic protection applications.

Silicon Nitride CeramaSil-C Material Brand

Silicon Carbide (SiC) – CeramaSil-C™

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

CeramAlloy Ultra Hard Material Brand

Zirconia-Alumina (ZTA) – CeramAlloy™ Ultra Hard

21.5 GPa
Zirconia-Alumina (ZTA) exhibit a combination of high hardness, strength, wear and corrosion resistance while still maintaining reasonably high fracture toughness.

Alumina Material Brand CeramAlox Ultra Pure

Alumina (Al2O3) – CeramAlox™ Ultra Pure

19 GPa
CeramaAlox Ultra Pure is a very high purity (99.95%) grade of Alumina (Aluminium Oxide) exhibiting an exceptional combination of mechanical and electrical properties.

Related Properties

Compressive Strength

Compressive strength is the capacity of a material to withstand loads tending to reduce size. Explained differently, compressive strength resists compression (being pushed together), whereas tensile strength resists tension (being pulled apart).



Density is the mass of a material per unit volume. The unit of measurement can be expressed in different ways and is referred us as g/cm3 but another measurement value is kg/m3.

Fracture Toughness

Fracture Toughness

The ability to resist fracture is a mechanical property of materials known as fracture toughness. For advanced ceramics it uses a critical stress intensity factor known as KIC where the fracture normally occurs at the crack terminations.