Cast Encapsulation of Unfinished Ceramic Armor Tiles

Period of Performance: 09/30/2012 - 09/29/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rel, Inc.
57640 North Eleventh St.
Calumet, MI 49913
Principal Investigator


REL has demonstrated that Squeeze Casting a is viable process for encapsulation of ceramic tiles for Warfighter protection systems. The SBIR Phase 1 has demonstrated that squeeze cast encapsulation can offer the following process attributes: a. Use of low tolerance ‘as-pressed’ tiles, b. Control of gap sizes between tiles in cast panels, c. Ability to use multiple matrix light metal alloys for the encapsulation of multiple tiles, d. Scaleable to large panel sizes, as well as, e. Cost Effective processing solution. The use of unfinished ‘as-pressed’ tiles eliminates an expensive finish machining process for SiC tiles. The tile gap control in multiple matrix alloys can be controlled by the REL designed ‘pick and place’ die transfer tool. Specific matrix alloys chosen for this work are commercially pure Al and 5083. The 2 foot square nominal panel size for phase one is capable to be expanded to the larger 3 foot square nominal panel size for SBIR Phase 2 in the current press located at REL. The Squeeze Casting process of the encapsulation panels can be performed with processing times that are similar to die cast cycle times. More optimization should be performed to determine optimal Manufacturing cell design.