Development of a High Performance, Low Cost, Lightweight Boron Carbide-Alumina-Aluminum Armor Material
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The proposed work focuses on an improved body armor system based on the use of thin layers of a new and innovative ceramic/metal composite material (ONNEXT) combined with high performance polymer composite backings. The key element in this study is aunique class of tough ceramic-metal composite materials that contain both interconnected metal and a large fraction of boron carbide. The metal phase provides significant toughness and damage tolerance, and the boron carbide provides high hardness andoutstanding ballistic performance. These materials are processed by a unique manufacturing method allowing thin and complex shapes to be formed at a reasonable cost.The overall goal of this effort is to develop and demonstrate armor that will defeat two very different military threats at an areal density of 6 pounds per square foot (or less): M2 AP (which presently cannot be defeated without hard ceramic), and the M80ball (which is efficiently stopped by organic composite armor). Three key variables in the ceramic/metal system will be studied and optimized: precursor production method, ceramic layer thickness and ceramic layer geometry (i.e., non-planar shapes). Thiswork heavily leverages the development of boron carbide containing ONNEX, which has been developed as a wear material. The primary benefit of this program will be a reduced cost, improved performance armor system available to the US military. Reducing thecost of personnel armor will allow the military to outfit additional troops and improved performance will yield fewer casualties. The net result will be measured in human lives rather than dollars.Additionally, the resulting armor system will have substantial impact on the current domestic body armor market (which exceeds $90 million annually) and vehicle armor market (which exceeds $18 million annually) by providing improved protection at a reducedprice to paramilitary and law enforcement organizations.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1275 Kinnear Rd. Columbus, OH 43212
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