The strengths and weaknesses of ceramic bulletproof plates
Metal has always been the only choice for manufacturers to make protective equipment, Until the 1990s, the emergence and application of high-strength ceramics promoted the innovation of products and technologies in the bullet-proof industry. Ceramic bulletproof plates began to sweep the whole bullet-proof equipment market and became the mainstream hard armor plates.
As we all know, ceramic is one of the strongest materials, so it can crash the bullets at the moment of impact, and counteract most kinetic energy of bullets. The commercially manufactured ceramics for armor include materials such as boron carbide, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, titanium boride, aluminum nitride, and Syndite (synthetic diamond composite). Alumina, silicon carbide and boron carbide are the most common ceramic materials used to make ceramic inserts on the market.
Generally, ceramic plates have many strengths:
1.Great bulletproof effect
Compared with traditional metal plates, ceramic plates have much stronger bulletproof capability, based on their special molecular structure. These ceramics are often in the form of a composite blend. Now often lots of Ceramic plates have a Polyethylene or Kevlar blended back. This is mainly just for reducing blunt force or acting as a backer for the bullets. it consists of a single ceramic or ceramic-metal composite covered with nylon cloth combined with high-tensile organic fibers. Ceramic plates are so strong that they can crash bullets at the moment the impact happens. At the same time, the ceramic plate will be impacted and cracked. During which most of the kinetic energy of the bullet will be dispersed and consumed. Finally, the broken bullet will be intercepted and captured by the high-performance fiber backplane.
2.High strength and light weight
We all know that the effect of force is mutual. To smash the bullet, the ceramic is required to have enough hardness to counteract the kinetic energy of the high-speed bullet. In addition, ceramic plates are much lighter in weight than mental plates. In general, a NIJ III ceramic plate weighs only 2 kg (4.5 to 5 pounds). The heavy weight of bulletproof plates has always been one of the most concerned and insurmountable problems. A lighter plate can greatly reduce the physical consumption of users, while allowing more flexibility in tactical activities. That is why ceramic plates are more popular with some users.
3.Stable material structure
Ceramic material has always been one of the most stable materials, and its special molecular structure brings it great creep resistance. Unlike some pure high-performance fiber plates such as PE plates, ceramic ones can withstand great pressure without deformation. In addition, it has good water resistance, heat resistance and ultraviolet resistance. Therefore, ceramic equipment can be used and preserved under any environmental condition.
However, everything has two sides. Ceramic plates are also not flawless. Some drawbacks of ceramic plates are shown as follows:
While ceramic ballistic plates can have tensile strengths and hardness levels surpassing hardened steel, they do so at a price. In order to achieve their extreme hardness ratings, ceramic plates become very brittle as a result. In this way, their hardness actually becomes their greatest weakness. When the impact happens, the huge force of bullets will break the ceramic plate. The cracked part is usually unable to resist the bullet attack again. Therefore, the ceramic inserts which had been hit by bullet were not allowed to be used again. This brings another question---if working in dangerous environments, the odds of being hit with a second round increases drastically. Your likelihood of getting shot increases the more times you have already been shot. 2.High price
Ceramic plates are extremely hard to manufacture and often times fail quality control during the production process. Due to the exotic materials required and the failure intensive manufacturing processes, the cost of ballistic ceramic plates is the highest in the current bulletproof vest market. Per ceramic plate costs at least 200% more than their steel alternatives. For many armies, it is unfordable to arm themselves with large quantities of ceramic plates. Above is all the introduction of ceramic plates. Any bullet-proof product has its advantages and disadvantages, so when buying plates, we must make clear the type of threat we need to deal with, and make a rational choice.