Clay armor. Prospects for the use in the protection of personnel and light armored vehicles

Our homeland — one of the first countries in the world where even the middle of the 70s of last century began periodic studies on ceramic armor.

Then the results of testing a wide variety of metal-ceramic and clay materials experts at the Russian concluded that the complex mechanical and technological characteristics of the more promising for practical implementation are corundum, silicon carbide and ceramics karbidobornaya.

Born in the USSR

They are made Luga Abrasive Plant tiles made of boron carbide, which began to be used in the Institute of body armor such as "Beehive" — in versions 4 and 15 series 6B5 (F-86) — for the 40th Army limited contingent of Russian troops in the Republic of Afghanistan (OKSVA) in the period from 1979-1989, had the highest armor qualities so that even at this point, after more than 30 years, not only our home, and the more advanced world producers of ceramic armor still no closer to them tightly.

In fairness it must be emphasized that in the corundum and silicon carbide ceramics progress at that time were much more modest. In 1980 in Russia (Research Institute of Steel) has already been worked out in the experimental plan — as opposed to the British armor "chobhem" — head-protection units tanks. But it has made obsolete the emergence of dynamic protection, much less that the issues related to the persistence of structural clay armor still remained.

In respect of personal protective equipment (PPE) and light combat vehicles relevance clay armor not only did not decrease, and in a number of circumstances has increased, because research in this area are virtually all developers' light armor. " Unfortunately, the so-called restructuring threw our industry in terms of production and improvement of Russian armor ceramics almost to the initial level 70s.

Requirements that apply now key customers (the Defense Ministry, the Federal Security Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs), is not evidence that the creation of light bronestruktur funds for personal body armor (NIB) high levels (5-6a) is not probable without the use of a clay material. With all of this basic requirement of power structures is the low weight. And it is more stringent than for light armored vehicles. Because of a clay used in armor protection materials developer IRB should choose lighter — silicon carbide and boron carbide.

Help cellophane

In recent years, JSC "Research Institute of Steel" were developed protective structure 6a class with a surface density of 36-38 kg per square meter on the basis of boron carbide production VNIIEF (Sarov) on a substrate of a high cellophane. CVTs "Technology" with the participation of "Institute of Steel" managed to make a protective structure 6a class with a surface density of 39-40 kg per square meter based on silicon carbide (also on the support of ultra-high cellophane — UHMWPE).

These structures have an indisputable advantage in weight compared with bronestrukturami based on corundum (46-50 kg square meter) and iron armor elements, but own with 2 shortcomings: low vitality and the highest price.

You can achieve an increase survivability organokeramicheskih armor elements up to 1 shot per square decimeter by performing their composing of small tiles. While in the armor plates with a substrate of UHMWPE area of five to seven square decimeter can guarantee one or two shots, but less. It is no accident zabugornye standards involve testing bulletproof armor-piercing rifle bullet only one shot in the protective structure. Yet achieving survivability up to 3 shots per square decimeter remains one of the major challenges that seek to address the leading Russian developers PPE.

Higher survivability can be obtained by introducing a discrete layer of clay, in other words, a layer consisting of small cylinders. Such armor panels makes, for example, the company TenCate Advanced Armor and other companies. But this structure corresponds to faster application in the protection of military vehicles. In any case, other criteria are approximately equal to 10 per cent heavier ceramic flat panels.

As mentioned above, as the ceramics used for the substrate panel of a high upressovannye cellophane (B Dyneema or Spectra) as a light energy consuming material. But it is only done abroad. It would be in Russia and make your own creation fibers, and not just deal with pressing panels of imported raw materials. Perhaps the use of composite materials and on the basis of Russian aramid fabrics, but their weight and cost to a large extent supersede the characteristics of plastic panels.

Calculations and experience show

Institute of Steel now has the right to be proud of the development of experimental and computational methodologies for assessing ceramic armor options, based on the determination of the time delay the penetration of bullets into an earthenware plate, allowing to make a choice in favor of one or another material. Used engineering and numerical methods of estimation bulletproof protective structures with a clay facial layer.

As for light armored vehicles, the requirements for its protection, dramatically superior ability to exercise their traditional method of using whole armor steels defined in dimensions and weight restrictions. The introduction of a clay armor elements in protective structures contributes in some kinds of cases significant reduction of the total weight of the protective structures.

The experience of foreign colleagues and the results of our own research shows: the least weight traits possess a solid panel (tile) assembly. This technical solution is used by many recognizable swatches armored vehicles (armored vehicles), and was used in the protection of the families of machines "Bear" and "Typhoon". Weight of the armor plates 6a class gathered on the basis of Russian-made plane-parallel plates (parts car cabin "Bear") was 72 pounds-force per square meter, which is much easier to solid metal armor (126 pounds-force per square meter) and is somewhat easier to best separated bronekonstruktsy iron (78-102).

With all of this it became clear that the effect of setting a clay panels can be achieved in the presence of large areas of the reservation, which is not always achievable in certain swatches armored vehicles and auto technology (AT), because there are issues of security of connections and interfaces. Since the security features of a clay flat plates several nearby drop their connections (especially near the corner joints of adjacent units), an additional process inconsistencies panel assembly is a solid build their local enhancement in the required areas.

What to do

The upcoming features improved composite armor on the basis of a clay armor elements in relation to the objects of armored vehicles should be followed by the main fronts.

The increase in property bronekeramiki. The last two or three years, Steel Research Institute collaborates closely with manufacturers bronekeramiki in Russia — JSC "NEVZ-Soyuz", JSC "Aloxe", LLC "VIRIAL" in terms of processing and improve properties bronekeramiki. Joint efforts managed to make it better quality and actually brought to the level of Western models.

Testing of optimal design solutions. As already mentioned, a set of clay tiles has special zones around their compounds, which have lower ballistic properties. In order to level the parameters panel of design "profiled" broneplitki. The panels are installed on the vehicle, "The Punisher" and have successfully passed preliminary tests. Panel weight class 6a was 60 pounds-force per square meter. In addition, worked out on the basis of the structure of corundum with a substrate of aramid
and UHMWPE with a weight of 45 pounds-force per square meter of panel 6a class. But the use of such panels in the objects of the AT and armored vehicles is limited due to the presence of additional requirements (for example resistance to lateral blasting explosive device).

For armored vehicles such as armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles typically overestimate the impact of fire, so that the maximum density of lesions, which can provide a clay panel, collected on a "solid hotel" may be insufficient. The solution to this may be prepyadstviya only when using a crock of discrete assemblies of hexagonal or cylindrical parts, proportionate means of destruction. Discrete assembly provides the highest durability of composite armor panels, the maximum density lesion which is close to the same parameter of iron bronekonstruktsy.

But the weight properties of discrete bronekompozitsy with a clay base in the form of dural or iron armor plate for five to ten percent larger than the like of a clay panels solid build. The advantage of discrete ceramic panels is also no need for its bonding to the substrate. These armor panels installed and tested in the most experienced swatches ARV-3 and BMD-4. At the current time, these panels are used in the framework of the ROC "Typhoon", "Boomerang".

Abroad for less

As studies have shown Institute of Steel protection of weapons on the basis of tungsten alloys asks unusual design solutions. A significant effect in this case there is only using portions of the silicon carbide. Thus, the use of clay blocks reaktsionnospechenogo silicon carbide for protection against piercing projectiles small-caliber automatic guns with a core of a residence permit for reduced weight barriers by 25-30 percent.

The introduction of pottery is promising, but not a universal means of enhancing the efficiency of armor with all the requirements of customers.

Modern features armor protection dictate stringent conditions to the developers bronestruktur to the same in each case it is necessary to focus on the specific requirements of customers for each specific OCD. Together, in order to solve the objectives need perfect protective structures for use in a clay pieces compositions having a very wide range of materials and geometries. Due to the lag of the Russian mass production bronekeramiki to make a technological breakthrough in this area, why, of course, come in handy motivated by monetary investments.

When comparing the prices of a clay armor elements from different manufacturers follow the trend observed: abroad the cost of the average properties of corundum varies from U.S. $ 10 per kilogram (China) to 20 (Germany — the company Barat, Italy — Company Bitossi), in Russia — from 17 to 35. Serial production of silicon carbide a clay armor elements in our country is likely only in St. Petersburg (LLC "VIRIAL") at a cost of 150-180 U.S. dollars per kilogram. In the West, a similar product properties offer for 100-150 bucks. Of course, the increase in the volume of orders can lower the cost of Russian bronekeramiki to the applicable level.

So, of course

1. Although clay armor for PPE and light armored vehicles is not an absolute panacea, though its share in a modern and promising protection will still be significant.

2. For effective practical adaptation to the ceramic armor protection of mandatory military equipment for the Russian industry together to produce various kinds of ceramics with the highest features that are not inferior so at the best global manufacturers need a release of the products of a wide range of sizes and geometries.

3. Need a new formulation of R & D on the upcoming increase in ballistic Earthenware and to increase their survivability through repeated hits.

4. The rate of recovery of the Russian industry for the production of ceramics should give the greatest because of the expected acceleration in 2015, a sharp increase from the country's Order of the latest generation of military equipment based on the newly developed combat platforms.

5. Of mandatory prerequisite for successful competition with foreign producers is (together with a sharp increase in output) lowering the price of ceramics to the applicable limitations.

6. There is an urgent need for the adoption of state motivated by the large-scale deployment programs from research and manufacturing facilities for the production of ceramics.

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