High-Hardness Lightweight Body Armor

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: M67854-10-C-6512
Agency Tracking Number: N091-005-1751
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N091-005
Solicitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
Ultramet
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Arthur Fortini
 Director of Science & Tec
 (818) 899-0236
 art.fortini@ultramet.com
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrativ
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Email: craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Current Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (E-SAPI) plates are made from hot-pressed boron carbide (B4C), which offers a favorable combination of high hardness and light weight. As threats continue to evolve, however, armor systems must also evolve to defeat the threats. Unfortunately, this typically involves increasing the weight of the armor system, which inhibits natural movement and decreases maneuverability for the wearer. Ultramet proposes to build upon its success with fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (SiC) composite armor and apply the lessons learned to an analogous B4C-based composite system. In the previous work, which was for a 7.62-mm APM2 threat, Ultramet’s carbon fiber-reinforced SiC composite backing structure with a thin monolithic SiC strike face outperformed fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) without a strike face as well as thick, monolithic SiC. In this project, Ultramet will use its melt infiltration process to fabricate fiber-reinforced B4C composites and combine them with a thin, monolithic B4C strike face to achieve superior ballistic protection compared with state-of-the-art monolithic B4C. Because high-strength carbon fibers are less dense than B4C, incorporating carbon fibers into the CMC will decrease the areal density while increasing the strength and toughness of the structure. This will improve the ballistic protection and improve the multi-hit capability of the composite armor system. The strike face materials to be investigated will also include ultrahard materials with hardnesses greater than that of diamond.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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