SHOCK-RESISTANT MATERIALS BASED ON COMMERCIAL
GRADE CERAMIC: ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROSPECTS
FOR IMPROVING THEIR BALLISTIC EFFICIENCY
A. P. Garshin,
V. I. Kulik,
and A. S. Nilov
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No.4, pp. 53 – 67, April, 2016.
Original article submitted October 12, 2015.
The main approaches are formulated for improving the ballistic efficiency of ceramic composite armor protec
tion based on improving the structure of shock-resistant ceramic materials and ceramic armor elements at
nano-, micro-, and macro-levels. The contemporary state and development trends are reviewed and analyzed
for ways of improving ballistic properties that are based on forming a fine-grained monolithic ceramic struc
ture, creation of composite (dispersion-strengthened and fiber-reinforced) ceramic materials, creation of ma
terials with properties varied throughout the volume (layered and graded), and creation of a discrete (mosaic)
ceramic layer structure.
Keywords: ceramic materials, ceramic armor, shock-resistant ceramic, ceramic-matrix, dispersion-strength-
ened and fiber-reinforced composites, layered and graded materials, discrete structures, ballistic properties.
Refractory materials, which also concerns engineering
ceramic, are primarily based on oxides, carbides, and ni-
trides, finding extensive application beyond traditional
spheres for their use, including such an important and current
branch of contemporary manufacture as creation of protec
tive equipment in the form of ceramic armor components,
protecting both personnel (individual armored vests), and
various types of engineering (aircraft, helicopters, automo
biles, vessels, etc.).
The steadily increasing specifications for armor struc
tures leads to a requirement for creating different new protec
tive structures with improved properties and a broader field
of application. The choice of specific types of armor materi
als and their structures and their location over the thickness
of protective elements, is mainly determined by tasks of cre
ating protective structures (for example protection class) of
objects within they are located, and also special purpose
functional design (minimum weight, cost, maximum life,
The market for protective armor is currently being ac-
tively developed. In this market there is extensive use of var-
ious ballistic materials, starting from material based on or-
ganic fibers (for example aramid fibers of the Kevlar and
CBM types, ultrahigh modulus polyethylene fiber of the
Spectra and Dyneema types), metal alloys (armor steels and
titanium alloys), and ending with different unarmoured ce
ramic [1, 2]. Each of these materials exhibits a number of
disadvantages. A relatively light armor panel made from fi
ber composite with reasonable thickness limits and surface
density does not provide the required armor protection from
a bullet with a thermally strengthened or hard alloy core.
Metal alloys have high density and inadequate hardness,
which leads to a marked increase in surface density of armor
with an attempt to improve the class of protection.
In contrast to metal alloys ceramics exhibit low impact
strength, which as a rule leads to breakage of an armor ele
ment after the first damage by a ballistic element, i.e., it has a
In addition, currently the the problem of protection from
means of damage exhibiting high impact energy and pene
trating capacity is especially important, for example armored
bullets with thermally strengthened cores. In contrast to soft
bullets, effective stoppage of a hard almost undeformable
core of an armored bullet is only possible by a mechanism of
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 57, No. 2, July, 2016
1083-4877/16/05702-0207 © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York
FGBOU VPO St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, St. Pe
BGTU VOENMKh, St. Petersburg, Russia.