History of Ceramic Body Armor: A Brief Overview
Ceramic body armor is one of the best options for protective equipment, but where did this revolutionary form of protection come from? Let's look at the humble beginnings of the history of ceramic body armor.
The Discovery of Ceramic Armor
In 1918, a major in the British Army, Neville Monroe Hopkins, made a revolutionary discovery - that a plate of rolled steel, when covered in a thin layer of hard enamel, was far more resistant to penetration. This breakthrough was a major point in the evolution of body armor, as it was the first time that its defensive capabilities had been drastically increased.
In the waning days of the Second World War, the Monsanto Chemical Company conducted research on the material called Doron and found that a thin sheet of glass coupled with a thicker plate of Doron was more effective than one of just Doron of equal weight. This was some 25 years after the start of the war.
The Birth of Modern Ceramic Armor
However, the first truly modern ceramic armor system dates to early 1963, and a patent was filed by Richard Cook on behalf of the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation. This patent, entitled “Hard faced ceramic and plastic armor,” described a piece of the armor of essentially modern construction: a plate of alumina, or a mosaic of alumina tiles, over a backing of Doron fiberglass.
The first operational use of ceramic body armor took place during the Vietnam War. During this time, helicopters were frequently subjected to small-arms fire, leading to the deployment of ceramic body armor to protect helicopter crews.
In 1965, hard-faced composite armor kits were added to pilot seats, and by the following year, monolithic ceramic vests and airframe-mounted armor panels were also introduced. These improvements had a significant impact on reducing casualties, with fatalities among helicopter crews decreasing by 53% and non-fatal injuries reducing by 27% according to Paul J. Haxell in his book Armour.
The successful implementation of ceramic body armor in helicopters during the Vietnam War paved the way for its widespread use in a variety of military and law enforcement applications. Top of Form
Since this time, ceramic body armor has continued to evolve and improve. Today, ceramic armor is widely used by military and law enforcement personnel all over the world, providing them with the protection they need to carry out their duties in some of the most dangerous environments imaginable.
We at Spartan Armor Systems, are proud to announce the release of our complete ceramic body armor line, the Hercules Ceramic Body Armor. Made in-house at our state-of-the-art facility in Tucson, Arizona, the Hercules line includes three products: the Hercules Lite Level III+/RF2, Hercules Level IV Body Armor, and the Hercules Xtreme Multi-Hit Ceramic Level IV.
The Hercules Lite Level III+/RF2 is a balanced armor plate that provides full edge-to-edge coverage and is engineered to stop both M80 BALL and M855 non-armor piercing threats. The Hercules Level IV Body Armor is rated to stop armor-piercing rifle rounds up to .30-06 M2 AP and is designed using Spartan Armor's Advanced Compound Curve (ACC) for maximum comfort and protection.
The Hercules X Level IV ceramic body armor plate is the toughest and lightest plate yet, made of boron carbide ceramic and UHMWPE, and has been laboratory tested to defeat up to 3-4 impacts of .30-06 M2AP armor-piercing rounds.
Spartan Armor Systems offers a 5-year warranty on manufacturer defects and ships orders within 2 to 5 business days. The Hercules line is made in the U.S.A. and offers the best protection, performance, and price point on the market.
In conclusion, the history of ceramic body armor is a testament to the ingenuity and determination of those who have worked to improve the safety and well-being of those who serve and protect us. From the discovery of ceramic armor during World War I to the development of the first truly modern ceramic armor system in the 1960s, this field has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. And with ongoing research and development, it is likely that ceramic armor will continue to improve and evolve, providing our military and law enforcement personnel with the protection they need to keep them safe and secure.
Q. What is ceramic body armor?
A. Ceramic body armor is a type of personal protective equipment designed to provide added protection against bullets and other projectiles.
Q. When was ceramic body armor first developed?
A. The development of ceramic armor can be traced back to 1918, during the final days of World War I.
Q. What was the first truly modern ceramic armor system?
A. The first truly modern ceramic armor system was described in a patent filed by Richard Cook on behalf of the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation in early 1963.
Q. Why is ceramic body armor used by military and law enforcement personnel?
A. Ceramic body armor is used by military and law enforcement personnel to provide them with added protection against bullets and other projectiles, helping to keep them safe and secure in some of the most dangerous environments imaginable.