As a vertically integrated, high capacity producer of DEFENDER® ceramic body armor
systems, Ceradyne is a key supplier to the U.S. Military and a vital resource to
the defense industry worldwide. Ceradyne has developed an infrastructure that allows
global support for armor protection through on time production of varying levels
and designs within an extended manufacturing capacity second to none.
Hot pressed boron carbide and silicon carbide ceramic is integrated with optimized
composite structures to produce rugged multi-hit armors. For lower cost NIJ level
III and IV protection, a line of commercial DEFENDER® armor offers the best value
choice. For steel-core ball and armor piercing protection that exceeds NIJ requirements,
Ceradyne’s next generation technology can offer solutions to meet the highest performance requirements at minimal weight.
Ceradyne’s unique hot pressing process enables the cost-effective production of
flat and multi-curved ceramic plates. Customer specifications are met using in-house tool design engineering
for rapid prototyping of custom shapes and curvatures.
For weight critical body armor applications, Ceradyne recommends hot pressed boron
carbide or silicon carbide for high mass efficiency and high volume production
suitability. Ceradyne can supply bare ceramic billets or finished body armor plates
in quantities in the thousands per month.
Composite Backing Systems
Depending on specific requirements for weight, thickness, back-face deformation
and cost, Ceradyne specifies one of a wide variety of composite backing structures.
Typical low cost body armor systems utilize ballistic resistant aramid fabric or S-2 glass/polyester pre-preg
while Kevlar KM2® is used in cost-effective high performance systems. Polyethylene-based
fibers are also used in combination with a variety
of resins chosen specifically to meet application requirements.
For the most demanding performance requirements, Ceradyne has developed Advanced
Composite Technology for Improved Multi-Hit Performance (IMP/ACT™) in its line of
DEFENDER® body armor plates. IMP/ACT™ utilizes Advanced Composite Technology to
achieve new Levels of durability with consistent high performance with minimal shot spacing requirements.
Special Operations Force Protection
A variety of special operations forces use Ceradyne body, side and other extremity armor.
A low visibility side and shoulder plate protects up to NIJ Level III+ threats when
worn in conjunction with soft armor. Other side plates also provide NIJ Level III+
protection. A third special operations side plate delivers stand alone NIJ Level
IV equivalent protection. In addition to ceramic armor plates currently in the field, Ceradyne
continues to develop advanced protection for other vulnerable body areas including groin,
legs and arms.
In-House Ballistics Testing
To ensure that advanced ceramic materials can offer solutions to meet the highest performance requirements at minimal weight,
Ceradyne utilizes an in-house ballistics range to test
materials and body armor designs against a wide array of ball and armor piercing
threats that range from 5.56 to 7.62 millimeters.
The ceramic strike-face of a lightweight body armor system shatters or deforms the bullet on
impact. The effectiveness of ceramic is enhanced by a proprietary backing layer
that provides structural support and absorbs residual energy. Properties of high
hardness and strength, together with low density, impart the unique efficiency of
ceramics as a principal component of advanced armor systems.