Ceramic Industry

Army Honors M Cubed for Armor Development (posted 3/16/09)

March 16, 2009

The U.S. Army recently honored M Cubed Technologies with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Success Story Award for the development and commercialization of advanced ceramic armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ceramic armor plates have improved durability and multi-hit performance through the use of a multi-phase microstructure that results in reduced cracking.

The new armor was developed under the Army's SBIR program, which enables small businesses to move ideas from the drawing board to market. The ceramic plates go into pockets in the vests of the Interceptor Body Armor System worn by troops, with two plates per vest (one in front and one in back). The system is used by the Army and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The addition of the new plates to the traditional armor vest significantly increases its protection level. The vest alone can only defeat fragments and handgun munitions. With the plates, armor- piercing rifle rounds are defeated. M Cubed continues to work on product improvements to make the plates lighter with increased protection levels.

The Army also awarded M Cubed a contract to further the development of the ceramic composite for the next generation of personnel armor. M Cubed met the new performance requirements with two different novel formulations, with additional optimization in process. M Cubed has also received a new award from the U.S. Navy to further improve its ceramic composites to reduce the weight of the current personnel armor system.

M Cubed is also developing a ceramic metal matrix composite (MMC) armor to protect vehicles from roadside bombs and direct fire. The ceramic constituent provides the hardness to defeat armor-piercing threats while the MMC provides durability and multi-hit resistance. With this new composite, M Cubed can produce complex-shaped structures up to 8 x 8 ft in a single piece. Large panels make assembly more efficient and cost effective for armor integrators, compared to the use of many small tiles that require complex assembly fixtures and excessive handling.

The company’s website is located at www.mmmt.com.