Protective Ceramics


Ceramic materials for highly dynamic protection tasks

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Material and technology development for highly dynamic protection tasks.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Ceramic-backing composite: When hit by a penetrator, the ceramic breaks and its sharp-edged fragments rub against the penetrator.

Ceramic materials have been important components in protection concepts against highly dynamic stresses for decades. High-performance composite armor systems, in which high-performance ceramics based on Al2O3, SiC and B4C are combined with metals, plastics and textiles, are indispensable for the realization of reliable protection systems. The outstanding properties of ceramics, such as high hardness and strength, give these material systems an extraordinarily high resistance to impact effects, harsh environmental conditions and wear. The specific weight, which is up to two thirds lower than that of steel, makes these ceramics particularly interesting with regard to possible weight reductions when realizing high protection levels. “Transparent ceramics such as MgAl2O4 (spinel) or Y2O3 combine ballistic protection with optical functionality in a wide wavelength range.”

Services offered

Realization of ceramic-based protection systems against highly dynamic stresses and threats through:

  • Focused material and technology development in the field of oxide and non-oxide protective ceramics and their integration into the protective system
  • Optimization of classic material systems (e.g. Al2O3, SiC, B4C, MgAl2O4) and new development of innovative ceramic systems in combination with additional reinforcing components such as metals, carbide hard materials and diamond
  • Application and adaptation of highly qualified shaping technologies such as multidirectional pressing and additive manufacturing processes as well as coordinated heat treatment
  • Comprehensive characterization of the developed materials and protection systems
© Fraunhofer IKTS
© Fraunhofer IKTS

Shape-flexible ceramic-based protective systems: 3D topological interlocked structures* (left); additively manufactured using binder jetting (right).

*Dyskin, A. V., Estrin, Y., Kanel-Belov, A. J. & Pasternak, E. Toughening by Fragmentation - How Topology Helps. Adv. Eng. Mater. 3, 885-888 (2001).

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High-performance ceramics for protection tasks.