Far more Evidence That Army’s Reliance on, and Testing of, Entire body Armor Ceramic Plates is Fatally Flawed
As we study Friday’s release of the Federal government Accountability Workplace (GAO) report on physique armor (questioned for by Senators Jim Webb and Hillary Rodham Clinton in Might of 2007 and by other congressional places of work), it really is value reviewing some critical, related information.
First, here is some text copied from the internet web site for the Ceramics and Composites Content Center at Rutgers University. (CCMC is a multi-college research middle, but hosted at Rutgers.)
“Structural Ceramics/Ceramic Armor
Dedication of the Root Cause of the Bad Ballistic Performance of Boron Carbide — Manish Chhowalla and Dale Niesz
Non-Harmful Analysis of Ceramic Armor — Richard Haber and Dale Niesz
House Measurements as Estimators of Ballistic Overall performance — Roger Cannon
Impact of Gas Phase Composition in Pores During Densification — M. John Matthewson and Dale Niesz
Defining Microstructural Tolerance Limitations of Defects for SiC [Silicon Carbide] Armor — Richard Haber”
Notice the subject matter of the first-outlined investigation venture. The subject targeted on “Root Lead to of the Inadequate Ballistic Performance of Boron Carbide.”
Boron carbide is a single of the two most commonly utilized materials in the manufacture of the ceramic ballistic-protecting plates utilized right now by America’s frontline troops. Below is evidence that amid the actual experts, college professors whose daily life is studying ceramic and (composite resources), there is open acknowledgment that Boron Carbide ballistic overall performance is “very poor.”
Their study is not into how properly the Boron Carbide performs. They presently have the solution to that concern, and below most grading programs ended up they to problem a grade for Boron Carbide’s ballistic performance, “bad” would usually merit a “D,” at best.
The other most typically employed material for use in present day Military and Maritime Corps ceramic ballistic-protective plates is, silicon carbide, or as it is abbreviated in the fifth merchandise in the earlier mentioned listing, “SiC.”
3 Rutgers University professors who participate in the leading multi-college cooperative analysis heart in the nation dealing with ceramics, checklist two principal investigation subject areas having to do with the performance of the two most commonly employed ceramic ballistic protecting supplies, and each subjects elevate severe, elementary questions about: (1) of how properly the ceramic substance performs in the case of Boron Carbide, and (2) the essential structural integrity, i.e., performance, of the next ceramic material, Silicon Carbide.
(The two authors cited for the Boron Carbide research did not reply to a cellphone call and emails inquiring for an chance to examine their project. The author of the Silicon Carbide examine did answer in a series of back-and-forth email messages, declaring, “I am not confident I am at liberty to share my final results.”)
DOD’s See: there is by no means been a failure of a one ceramic plate, ever…
Nevertheless Protection Office representatives from three-star generals to general public affairs civilian flacks carry on to claim that there has never ever been 1 failure of a DOD-issued ceramic plate. Not a solitary 1. Never ever, at any time.
Which ceramic honing rod to the subsequent “paradox” in the body armor debate.
Why is the Army installing multi-million dollar x-ray units in combat theaters to do non-damaging tests on ceramic ballistic protective plates?
Does this set up contradict the Military and Maritime Corps statements of zero failures?
Or, does it reinforce the sights of the previously mentioned cited ceramic materials professors who are carrying out investigation on the bad efficiency of Boron Carbide plates, and others investigating defect “restrictions” in the microstructure of Silicon Carbide?
Army officers lead chapter in “Advancements in Ceramic Armor IV”
The following is an summary posted in an on-line ad for the previously mentioned cited guide. A number of civilians in crucial roles of the Army corrupt physique armor system, like Karl Masters and James Zhang, boast of their achievements in fielding the Non-Damaging Evaluation Automated Inspection Technique (NDE-AIS).
Summary To effectively shield personnel, the ceramic plate element in human body armor need to be free of charge of cracks. Scientific studies by the U.S. Army and Britain(2) have demonstrated that while cracked plates can nevertheless defeat a threat, their ballistic overall performance is degraded. The Non-Damaging Automatic Inspection Method (NDE-AIS) is a deployable, high speed, automated digital radiographic inspection technique that evaluates ceramic plate serviceability in the filed… benefits demonstrated that the NDE-AIS is 99.8% effective in trying to keep faulty physique armor plates from becoming reissued to Troopers. Ceramic plates are inspected at an average rated of about 240 plates for each hour in a process that automatically identifies and withdraws faulty plates from provider…
Let us stop correct below to consider a nearer look at this incredible admission from the Army’s personal human body armor specialists. They assert a ninety nine.85 success fee in trying to keep faulty human body armor plates from getting reissued.
Be aware that the Army authors of this chapter are admitting that there are faulty plates that have been worn by our frontline, overcome troops simply because if there were no defective plates, there would be no require for NDE-AIS.
The Military reaction will be that each and every one plate at any time issued to any Soldier was perfect, that’s why the excellent historic record of no failures, ever. (Yep, even though the Military will confess that faulty plates have been worn, they will adamantly claim no faulty plate has been shot in overcome, at any time!! A lot more about this incredulous declare beneath.)
Thus, according to the Military, the “defective” plates found and rejected as unfit for reissue have turn into so after having been subjected to the surroundings of tactical operations.
Let us examine that assert, keeping in head that the Army says that no plate has ever unsuccessful to stop a single round at the danger level for which that plate was accredited.
The Military is for that reason declaring that in eight a long time of battle in Afghanistan and in 6 and one-50 percent a long time of combat in Iraq, all the ceramic plates that grew to become defective owing to the bumps and grinds and other environmental aspects of tactical operations became defective only in that interval subsequent the plates morphing from pristine-excellent to faulty. And, during this interval no Soldier was ever shot even though wearing a morphed, defective plate!!
Which is right. For the Army’s blatantly specious assert to be valid, we need to settle for that some sort of battlefield miracles have routinely transpired whereby each and every frontline trooper that was shot, with the spherical impacting in their ceramic plate, was putting on a plate that experienced not but morphed from pristine-perfect (as issued) into a faulty plate.
BTW — to take the Army’s assert of no ceramic plates failures each and every, you have to 1st acknowledge the Army’s implied declare that every one plate produced in the past 8 a long time has been ideal. Presented DOD IG investigations and reports in excess of the previous two a long time documenting serious flaws in the Initial Write-up Testing by the Army that qualifies sellers for creating ceramic plates, only the most diehard “Kool-aide drinker” in PEO-Soldier would take this kind of a preposterous rivalry.