Much more Evidence That Army’s Reliance on, and Tests of, Entire body Armor Ceramic Plates is Fatally Flawed
As we review Friday’s launch of the Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) report on body armor (requested for by Senators Jim Webb and Hillary Rodham Clinton in Might of 2007 and by other congressional places of work), it truly is really worth examining some critical, connected information.
1st, this is some textual content copied from the net web site for the Ceramics and Composites Material Middle at Rutgers College. (CCMC is a multi-college analysis heart, but hosted at Rutgers.)
“Structural Ceramics/Ceramic Armor
Dedication of the Root Trigger of the Poor Ballistic Performance 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
Result of Fuel Stage Composition in Pores In the course of Densification — M. John Matthewson and Dale Niesz
Defining Microstructural Tolerance Boundaries of Defects for SiC [Silicon Carbide] Armor — Richard Haber”
Notice the subject of the 1st-listed investigation task. The topic focused on “Root Lead to of the Poor Ballistic Performance of Boron Carbide.”
Boron carbide is one particular of the two most frequently utilised components in the manufacture of the ceramic ballistic-protecting plates employed today by America’s frontline troops. Listed here is evidence that amongst the true experts, college professors whose life is investigating ceramic and (composite components), there is open acknowledgment that Boron Carbide ballistic functionality is “bad.”
Their analysis is not into how properly the Boron Carbide performs. They presently have the answer to that issue, and under most grading programs were they to situation a grade for Boron Carbide’s ballistic functionality, “bad” would generally benefit a “D,” at best.
The other most frequently used content for use in present day Army and Marine Corps ceramic ballistic-protective plates is, silicon carbide, or as it is abbreviated in the fifth merchandise in the over checklist, “SiC.”
A few Rutgers University professors who take part in the leading multi-university cooperative analysis centre in the country dealing with ceramics, record two principal investigation subjects possessing to do with the efficiency of the two most typically used ceramic ballistic protecting supplies, and equally subject areas elevate critical, essential questions about: (1) of how well the ceramic materials performs in the situation of Boron Carbide, and (2) the crucial structural integrity, i.e., functionality, of the second ceramic materials, Silicon Carbide.
(The two authors cited for the Boron Carbide review did not respond to a telephone get in touch with and emails asking for an prospect to discuss their undertaking. The author of the Silicon Carbide research did answer in a sequence of again-and-forth email messages, stating, “I am not sure I am at liberty to share my final results.”)
DOD’s See: there is certainly never ever been a failure of a one ceramic plate, ever…
Nevertheless Defense Office representatives from a few-star generals to general public affairs civilian flacks keep on to declare that there has never ever been one particular failure of a DOD-issued ceramic plate. Not a one one. By no means, ever.
Which leads us to the next “paradox” in the human body armor debate.
Why is the Army installing multi-million greenback x-ray units in battle theaters to do non-damaging tests on ceramic ballistic protecting plates?
Does this installation contradict the Military and Maritime Corps promises of zero failures?
Or, does Ceramic tube fortify the sights of the over cited ceramic resources professors who are undertaking investigation on the very poor performance of Boron Carbide plates, and other people researching defect “restrictions” in the microstructure of Silicon Carbide?
Military officials add chapter in “Developments in Ceramic Armor IV”
The following is an summary posted in an on-line ad for the over cited e-book. Numerous civilians in essential roles of the Army corrupt physique armor plan, such as Karl Masters and James Zhang, boast of their achievements in fielding the Non-Destructive Evaluation Automatic Inspection Program (NDE-AIS).
Abstract To appropriately safeguard staff, the ceramic plate element in body armor have to be free of charge of cracks. Research by the U.S. Army and Britain(2) have shown that whilst cracked plates can even now defeat a danger, their ballistic efficiency is degraded. The Non-Destructive Automatic Inspection Method (NDE-AIS) is a deployable, high velocity, automated electronic radiographic inspection program that evaluates ceramic plate serviceability in the filed… benefits shown that the NDE-AIS is ninety nine.8% powerful in retaining faulty entire body armor plates from getting reissued to Soldiers. Ceramic plates are inspected at an common rated of about 240 plates per hour in a method that immediately identifies and withdraws faulty plates from services…
Let us quit proper below to consider a nearer appear at this remarkable admission from the Army’s very own human body armor professionals. They claim a ninety nine.85 good results rate in keeping faulty entire body armor plates from being reissued.
Note that the Military authors of this chapter are admitting that there are defective plates that have been worn by our frontline, battle troops since if there have been no faulty plates, there would be no want for NDE-AIS.
The Army reaction will be that every single one plate at any time issued to any Soldier was best, that’s why the perfect historical document of no failures, ever. (Yep, whilst the Army will acknowledge that defective plates have been worn, they will adamantly declare no defective plate has been shot in combat, at any time!! More about this incredulous assert underneath.)
Therefore, in accordance to the Army, the “faulty” plates uncovered and rejected as unfit for reissue have become so right after possessing been subjected to the setting of tactical operations.
Let us examine that declare, retaining in mind that the Military suggests that no plate has ever failed to end a one spherical at the menace level for which that plate was certified.
The Army is consequently professing that in eight a long time of battle in Afghanistan and in six and one-50 percent many years of combat in Iraq, all the ceramic plates that became defective because of to the bumps and grinds and other environmental elements of tactical functions became faulty only in that interval pursuing the plates morphing from pristine-ideal to faulty. And, during this time period no Soldier was ever shot even though donning a morphed, defective plate!!
That’s right. For the Army’s blatantly specious claim to be valid, we must settle for that some form of battlefield miracles have routinely happened whereby every frontline trooper that was shot, with the round impacting in their ceramic plate, was sporting a plate that had not yet morphed from pristine-excellent (as issued) into a faulty plate.
BTW — to take the Army’s declare of no ceramic plates failures every single, you should initial settle for the Army’s implied assert that every single solitary plate produced in the previous eight several years has been best. Offered DOD IG investigations and stories in excess of the past two years documenting severe flaws in the 1st Post Screening by the Military that qualifies sellers for making ceramic plates, only the most diehard “Kool-aide drinker” in PEO-Soldier would accept such a preposterous rivalry.