Affordable Spinel Transparent Armor

Period of Performance: 05/27/2014 - 11/26/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Principal Investigator


Transparent armor is very important to the survivability and situational awareness for the crews of modern land, marine or aviation vehicles. Additionally to the common armor requirements (low areal density and high ballistic performance) transparent armor should provide high infrared and visual transmittance. Ceramic ballistic windows meet these requirements, but they often suffer from unaffordably high cost. Magnesium - aluminum spinel ensures a very high transmittance while being cheaper and available in larger sizes than other transparent ceramics. In order to further decrease areal density and substantially reduce price, it is proposed to develop a silicon oxide spinel composite with high transmittance and ballistic performance. The production expenses will be significantly reduced by using cheap oxide precursors instead of expensive spinel powders, by elimination of the highly expensive steps of hot pressing and isostatic hot pressing (they will be replaced with a much cheaper casting procedure); and by avoiding the most expensive step of optical polishing