A lot more Proof That Army’s Reliance on, and Tests of, Physique Armor Ceramic Plates is Fatally Flawed
As we review Friday’s launch of the Govt Accountability Office (GAO) report on body armor (questioned for by Senators Jim Webb and Hillary Rodham Clinton in Might of 2007 and by other congressional places of work), it’s really worth examining some critical, related news.
First, here is some textual content copied from the internet site for the Ceramics and Composites Materials Center at Rutgers University. (CCMC is a multi-college research centre, but hosted at Rutgers.)
“Structural Ceramics/Ceramic Armor
Determination of the Root Trigger of the Very poor Ballistic Functionality of Boron Carbide — Manish Chhowalla and Dale Niesz
Non-Harmful Analysis of Ceramic Armor — Richard Haber and Dale Niesz
Residence Measurements as Estimators of Ballistic Performance — Roger Cannon
Influence of Fuel Phase Composition in Pores In the course of Densification — M. John Matthewson and Dale Niesz
Defining Microstructural Tolerance Boundaries of Problems for SiC [Silicon Carbide] Armor — Richard Haber”
Observe the subject matter of the first-detailed study project. The subject matter concentrated on “Root Cause of the Very poor Ballistic Efficiency of Boron Carbide.”
Boron carbide is a single of the two most typically used resources in the manufacture of the ceramic ballistic-protecting plates used today by America’s frontline troops. Here is proof that among the real specialists, university professors whose existence is studying ceramic and (composite materials), there is open acknowledgment that Boron Carbide ballistic efficiency is “inadequate.”
Their investigation is not into how nicely the Boron Carbide performs. They previously have the reply to that query, and beneath most grading techniques were they to issue a grade for Boron Carbide’s ballistic performance, “inadequate” would normally advantage a “D,” at best.
The other most commonly used material for use in today’s Military and Marine Corps ceramic ballistic-protecting plates is, silicon carbide, or as it is abbreviated in the fifth product in the over list, “SiC.”
Zirconia ceramic who take part in the premier multi-college cooperative analysis centre in the nation working with ceramics, list two principal study subject areas possessing to do with the performance of the two most generally used ceramic ballistic protecting components, and both subject areas elevate severe, essential concerns about: (1) of how nicely the ceramic substance performs in the case of Boron Carbide, and (two) the key structural integrity, i.e., functionality, of the 2nd ceramic materials, Silicon Carbide.
(The two authors cited for the Boron Carbide review did not react to a phone get in touch with and email messages inquiring for an possibility to examine their task. The writer of the Silicon Carbide examine did answer in a collection of back again-and-forth email messages, declaring, “I am not confident I am at liberty to share my benefits.”)
DOD’s Check out: there’s by no means been a failure of a one ceramic plate, ever…
Nevertheless Protection Department reps from three-star generals to public affairs civilian flacks carry on to claim that there has never ever been 1 failure of a DOD-issued ceramic plate. Not a single a single. Never, ever.
Which sales opportunities us to the next “paradox” in the human body armor discussion.
Why is the Army putting in multi-million dollar x-ray units in combat theaters to do non-harmful tests on ceramic ballistic protecting plates?
Does this set up contradict the Military and Maritime Corps promises of zero failures?
Or, does it fortify the views of the previously mentioned cited ceramic components professors who are performing investigation on the inadequate overall performance of Boron Carbide plates, and others exploring defect “restrictions” in the microstructure of Silicon Carbide?
Army officials lead chapter in “Improvements in Ceramic Armor IV”
The subsequent is an summary posted in an on-line ad for the earlier mentioned cited guide. Numerous civilians in important roles of the Army corrupt physique armor software, including Karl Masters and James Zhang, boast of their achievements in fielding the Non-Harmful Evaluation Automatic Inspection Method (NDE-AIS).
Abstract To correctly defend staff, the ceramic plate ingredient in physique armor must be free of charge of cracks. Reports by the U.S. Military and Britain(two) have revealed that whilst cracked plates can still defeat a danger, their ballistic performance is degraded. The Non-Destructive Automated Inspection Program (NDE-AIS) is a deployable, high speed, automated electronic radiographic inspection method that evaluates ceramic plate serviceability in the filed… final results shown that the NDE-AIS is 99.eight% efficient in keeping defective entire body armor plates from currently being reissued to Soldiers. Ceramic plates are inspected at an typical rated of about 240 plates per hour in a approach that routinely identifies and withdraws faulty plates from support…
Let us stop appropriate right here to take a closer seem at this incredible admission from the Army’s own body armor experts. They declare a 99.eighty five good results rate in trying to keep defective physique armor plates from getting reissued.
Be aware that the Military authors of this chapter are admitting that there are defective plates that have been worn by our frontline, combat troops simply because if there had been no defective plates, there would be no require for NDE-AIS.
The Military reaction will be that every solitary plate at any time issued to any Soldier was ideal, that’s why the perfect historical report of no failures, ever. (Yep, even though the Military will acknowledge that defective plates have been worn, they will adamantly assert no faulty plate has been shot in battle, ever!! Far more about this incredulous claim under.)
As a result, in accordance to the Army, the “defective” plates uncovered and rejected as unfit for reissue have become so soon after obtaining been subjected to the atmosphere of tactical functions.
Let’s analyze that claim, maintaining in thoughts that the Military states that no plate has ever unsuccessful to stop a one spherical at the menace degree for which that plate was licensed.
The Military is for that reason claiming that in 8 many years of combat in Afghanistan and in six and one particular-50 percent years of fight in Iraq, all the ceramic plates that turned faulty due to the bumps and grinds and other environmental variables of tactical operations grew to become faulty only in that period of time following the plates morphing from pristine-excellent to defective. And, throughout this period no Soldier was ever shot whilst donning a morphed, faulty plate!!
That is right. For the Army’s blatantly specious declare to be legitimate, we need to acknowledge that some form of battlefield miracles have routinely occurred wherein every frontline trooper that was shot, with the round impacting in their ceramic plate, was sporting a plate that had not however morphed from pristine-ideal (as issued) into a faulty plate.
BTW — to settle for the Army’s declare of no ceramic plates failures each and every, you must 1st accept the Army’s implied assert that every solitary plate created in the previous eight several years has been excellent. Presented DOD IG investigations and reports in excess of the earlier two many years documenting serious flaws in the 1st Write-up Screening by the Army that qualifies sellers for producing ceramic plates, only the most diehard “Kool-aide drinker” in PEO-Soldier would settle for these kinds of a preposterous competition.