High Toughness, Hard Faced Metal Matrix Composite SAPI Plates

Period of Performance: 12/12/2003 - 06/11/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

M Cubed Technologies, Inc.
33 Corporate Drive, Suite 1110
Trumbull, CT 06611
Principal Investigator


An extremely capable team of M Cubed Technologies and Simula is proposing to replace existing ceramic-based small arms protective insert (SAPI) personnel armor plates with hard-faced metal matrix composite (MMC)-based products. This new product will offer much greater durability due to the relatively high fracture toughness of MMCs relative to ceramics. In short, the program will produce MMC tiles, examine hard facing of the tiles via traditional thermal spray processes, and characterize the products for physical and ballistic properties. Variables to be studied will include the MMC composition, the type and thickness of hard facing, and the hard coating process. Finally, an economic analysis of the most promising system(s) will be made, with a comparison to the current ceramic-based systems. The strengths of the team members will be utilized, such as M Cubed's expertise in developing, characterizing and commercializing advanced materials; and Simula's expertise in designing, testing, manufacturing and fielding advanced armor systems.