– Vehicle armouring
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING // FLOW CONTROL IN VEHICLE MANUFACTURING // BODY CONSTRUCTION // COMBUSTION ENGINE // ELECTROMOBILITY // FILLING LEVEL MEASUREMENT // EXHAUST TRAIN // DRIVE // BRAKE SYSTEM // DISTANCE SENSOR // ABS MODULATOR // LIGHTING SYSTEMS // ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS // LIGHTWEIGHT ENGINE CONSTRUCTION // VEHICLE ARMOURING
The ballistic protection of civilian vehicles generally meets the same requirements as for the protection of military vehicles.
Dense-sintered ceramic materials in systems such as vehicle doors and other components of the vehicle body can provide effective protection thanks to their following physical properties:
- High hardness
- High compressive strength
- High flexural strength
- High modulus of elasticity
- Low density
- Low weight per unit of area
The main material used today is Al2O3 ceramic. In a composite system, it generally weighs less than half the weight of armour steel while providing the same protection level. Non-oxide ceramic materials on the basis of SiC and B4C come into focus when an even lower weight without any compromise of the protective function is required.
Armouring for ballistic protection of vehicles with the use of armour steel generally leads to not inconsiderable vehicle weights, which can be significantly reduced with the use of a ceramic composite system in such structures.
One weak point are those parts that enable the vehicle occupants to look out into their surroundings, but conversely also make the occupants visible to potential attackers. These areas are generally protected with bulletproof glass. Transparent Al2O3 ceramic is a mechanically strong alternative as this type of material combines the above-listed properties with high light permeability and therefore brings a much more effective protection with the same structure.
As a result of recent developments, transparent Al2O3 ceramic achieves with HV10 >20 GPa extremely high hardness values. Transparent ceramic made of MgAl2O4 comes in the region of this level. With regard to their protective effect, it is comparable with conventional protective ceramics made of Al2O3. On account of the optically isotropic character of its crystal structure, its transparency is preserved, in contrast to transparent Al2O3 ceramic, even when components have particularly thick walls.