ALON® and Spinel Optical Ceramics
Project Status: Current
This Title III project is establishing a domestic production capability for ALON® and spinel optical ceramics. Emphasis is placed on increasing size, quality, yield, and affordability of ALON® and spinel and on facilitating component evaluation, qualification, and insertion. These two extremely durable, transparent materials can be produced in the shapes and sizes required for aircraft transparencies, missile domes, reconnaissance windows, and transparent armor applications.
ALON® and spinel exhibit exceptional transmission across the visible and mid-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Similar to sapphire in optical and mechanical properties, both ALON® and spinel are easily produced using standard techniques for ceramic processing and fabrication into final components. Highly transparent, both materials have been prepared in a variety of sizes and shapes to meet a wide variety of military applications.
PA # 88ABW-2011-1990
To speak with a Title III representative about a specific project, call (937) 904-4382.
Date of Contract Award: November 07, 2006
Total Contract Value: $ 21,940,494.00
Hyper-hemispherical dome for counter man-pads application
Click image above to begin slideshow.
Rock Strike Testing of ALON® Optical Ceramic
and Glass Sensor Windows 50 Cal Armor Piercing (M2AP) Rounds vs
ALON® Transparent Armor and Conventional Glass Laminates
Applications and Benefits
Both ALON and spinel are being evaluated for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile dome. The combination of manufacturability and durability makes ALON® hyper-hemispherical domes an excellent solution for applications requiring wide
angles of regard.
Such domes have been flight tested with proto-types built for various infrared countermeasure (IRCM) applications. ALON has also found a niche as an extremely durable laser window for a variety of applications including:
´┐Ż Airborne laser data links
´┐Ż Counter ManPads
´┐Ż Laser rangefinders
´┐Ż Laser target designators
´┐Ż Laser Radars
´┐Ż Airborne Wind Velocity Measurements
Spinel missile domes and windows were tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for potential use on infrared targeting and imaging systems. Spinel is also currently in production for advanced targeting pod lenses for a major defense contractor.
Activities and Accomplishments
* Increased size of ALON® windows that can be manufactured by 65%.
* Created the ability to routinely and reproducibly manufacture reconnaissance windows of high quality and optical homogeneity not possible before Title III.
* Reduced production time for ALON® armor by 80%.
* Increased yields for large ALON┬® reconnaissance windows by 75%, while increasing throughput by 750%.
* The Army Research Laboratory performed side by side comparative ballistic testing of ALON, spinel, and sapphire transparent armor. ALON® armor significantly outperformed the other two materials.