Chapter 63. Spinel Armor — Clearly the Way to Go

  1. Waltraud M. Kriven and
  2. Hua-Tay Lin
  1. Mark C. L. Patterson1,
  2. Anthony Digiovanni1,
  3. Gary Gilde2 and
  4. Don W. Roy3

Published Online: 27 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470294802.ch63

27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: A: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 3

27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: A: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 3

How to Cite

Patterson, M. C. L., Digiovanni, A., Gilde, G. and Roy, D. W. (2003) Spinel Armor — Clearly the Way to Go, in 27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: A: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 3 (eds W. M. Kriven and H.-T. Lin), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470294802.ch63

Author Information

  1. 1

    TA&T Inc., 133, Defense Highway Annapolis, MD 21401

  2. 2

    US Army Research Laboratory AMSRL-WM-MC Building 4600 Aberdeen, MD 21005

  3. 3

    21210 North 132 Drive, Sun City West, AZ 85375

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470375839

Online ISBN: 9780470294802

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Keywords:

  • U.S. army;
  • future combat system;
  • ballistic performance;
  • ceramics;
  • russell yeckley

Summary

Polycrystalline magnesium aluminate spinel is a cubic oxide which has been successfully processed to transparency in the 0.30um to 5.5 μm range. Polycrystalline spinel has been recognized for many years as a hard optical material with great potential for transparent armor and for UV, optical and MWIR optical component applications such as lenses, windows and domes. Technology Assessment & Transfer Inc., (TA&T) has recognized this market need and is scaling up to produce spinel components commercially for a wide range of both optical and armor applications. Spinel offers similar properties to both sapphire and ALON but information suggests that it will be possible to make spinel in larger sizes and at a considerably reduced cost over either sapphire or ALON. Spinel appears to offer the best balance of both performance and cost. Recent ballistic testing performed on spinel, and ALON showed very similar performance, together with a slight improvement (10%) over sapphire against armored piercing projectiles. The TA&T process is based on hot pressing followed by hot isostatic pressing to further improve the optical properties. This approach promises to produce spinel at a cost significantly less than sapphire or ALON and at a scale up to 55.9 cm diameter in the near term and possibly up to 91.4 cm in diameter.

This paper provides an overview of a joint effort between the Army and TA&T Inc., to establish a capability for large spinel plate fabrication and of efforts to strike a balance between improving the optical transmission while reducing the fabrication cost of large transparent armor windows.