Ceramic materials are commonly used to provide ballistic protection for civilian and military vehicles, aircraft, and personnel. Ever since the 1960s their relatively low densities and high hardness values have been attractive to armour designers. However, ceramic materials are inherently brittle and therefore careful thought must be given to the way in which they are applied.
The penetration mechanisms of different projectiles into these materials are quite complex! Understanding the way in which these materials interact with the projectile is central to the design of an efficient armour system. This book introduces some of the more pertinent lessons learnt over the years. It also provides an insight into the defeat mechanisms that ceramic materials employ when struck by various projectiles.
This book is primarily aimed at the military student, end user, and enthusiastic amateur alike who are interested ceramic armour materials and systems. The content is based loosely on the author’s notes compiled for various post-graduate defence technology courses and short courses on survivability – where the students have been mostly serving military officers.
This book is by no means comprehensive for the sake of brevity and it is principally an introductory text. As such, in Chapter 2 there is a chapter on material properties and in Chapter 3 an overview is provided of the types of threats that a ceramic armour system may encounter. It is primarily aimed at the military student, end user, and enthusiastic amateur alike who are interested in an insight into this technology.
There are ten chapters. Chapter 1 discusses the simple methods that are used in armour design and introduces ceramic materials and their application in armour. Chapter 2 discusses the properties of materials in light of their measurement and meaning and Chapter 3 provides an overview of the typical threats that a ceramic armour system may encounter. Chapter 4 examines the various ways that scientists and engineers assess armour performance and Chapter 5 discusses the types of ceramics that are available for armour applications and the methods for manufacturing them. The impact and penetration mechanisms of various projectiles into ceramic materials are discussed in Chapter 6 along with the more pertinent armour failure mechanisms. In Chapter 7 we look at the factors that govern performance and in Chapter 8 we examine other materials and systems that are used instead of, and in conjunction with, ceramic armour. In Chapter 9 we discuss a few methods for simulating the failure of ceramic materials that have been loaded dynamically and finally, in Chapter 10 we close with an Epilogue.
Paul Hazell lectures for Cranfield University teaching on post-graduate courses on defence technology at the UK’s Defence Academy at Shrivenham and the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. His research and consultancy interests are in experimental and numerical terminal ballistics.