Improving the Ballistics Resistance of Ceramics

In the past few decades, ceramic materials have been widely applied in lightweight armor due to their high comprehensive strength and low density. It is in early 1960s when ceramic was used for helicopter armor for the first time.  Since then, the use of ceramic materials in armor applications has intensified. It has been widely utilized in personnel armor, military and non-military applications. With wide applications of ceramics, there has been the need to pursue numerous advances in order to make the ceramic materials durable and stronger.  Ballast is a component that influences the strength of ceramics to resist damage of any kind. This essay paper focuses on how to improve resistance of ballistics of ceramic.

Ceramic materials are strong hence can withstand pressure or compression. At the same time, these materials are weak and brittle. Therefore, the only way to overcome this nature of ceramic materials is by improving the feature of ballistic resistance. Alumina, Aluminum Nitride and Boron Carbide are some of the major ceramic materials commonly used for ballistic application. According to Ravichandran and Yadav (2003), the ballistics resistance can be improved by prestressing the ceramic through addition of confinement.  This involves a creation of lasting stress in the materials purposely to enhance ballistic resistance under a vast range of conditions.

Prestressing provides additional structural reinforcement of ceramic materials. For instance, prestressing ceramic materials that have thin structures eradicates common tensile failures associated with the ceramic. This implies that the interaction between intact and projectile ceramic takes a longer period of time thus improving the ballistic resistance of ceramics. As suggested by Rosenberg and Yeshurun (1988), prestressing of ceramic materials with thick geometrical aspects and monolithic ceramic targets leads to reduction in penetration speed. Prestressing also increases ceramic toughness thus improving ballistic resistance of ceramics. This is done by adopting micromechanics based model that ensures that comminution of brittle ceramic materials occurs during addition of confinement of ballistic applications.

In conclusion, one of the ways of improving ballistic resistance of ceramics is through addition of confinement. Consequently, improved ballistic resistance of ceramics has opened doors of new ceramic applications such as in airspace and aircraft industry.  It is also expected to open new doors for applications in the near future. Since it is opening more opportunities for a human being, extensive research on how to improve the ballistic resistance of ceramics should be done.