Elastomer-Encapsulated, Laterally-Confined Ceramic Plates for Ballistic Armor Applications

Period of Performance: 12/19/1998 - 06/19/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ceradyne, Inc.
3169 Redhill Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


A program is proposed to demonstrates a low cost material, design and manufacturing method for the elastomer-encapsulated, laterally-confined ceramic armor component to limit lateral damage, to increase ballistic efficiency, and to allow multiple impacts without ballistic performance degradation. The armor component is an integrated package, containing a continuous elastomer phase around segmented, laterally-confined ceramic tiles. The proposed program is based on Ceradyne's extensive development in the armor system design and manufacturing. The elastomer is used (1) to attenuate the shock waves, and (2) to accommodate the lateral displacement during the ceramic fracturing, for reducing the damage in the adjacent ceramic tiles. The confinement on the segmented ceramic tiles is introduced (1) to increase the compressive strength of the comminuted fragments, and (2) to increase the friction between the projectile and the fragmented rabbles, for achieving the maximum ballistic efficiency. A ballistic testing methodology will be designed to quantitatively evaluate the ballistic efficiency as well as the single- and multiple-hit performance. A partnership with a commercial tire/elastomer manufacture will be established to reduce the manufacturing cost in the elastomer encapsulation process. A preliminary data base will be established for use in designing a program to fabricate and optimize armor system with multiple hit capability. BENEFITS: Large scale of the elastomer-encapsulated and laterally-confined armor packages will provide the Army a new type of armor components for stand-off armor, vehicle skirt armor, hard-face armor component and light-weight armor systems, especially in the multiple hit conditions.