Ceramic Industry

Saint-Gobain Plant Expands to Increase Body Armor Production (4/24/07)

April 24, 2007

The Saint-Gobain Ceramics plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y., is expanding production capacity to meet an increased demand for ceramic body armor for U.S. troops. The U.S. military is currently purchasing as many as 25,000 sets of personal protection body armor each month. Each full set contains two torso plates and two side shield plates made from either boron carbide or silicon carbide.

Saint-Gobain Ceramics sells the Hexoloy® silicon carbide plates to top defense companies that combine the plate with a backing material, and insert the finished plates into vests. When a bullet strikes the Hexoloy plates, the bullet shatters and the plates absorb and disperse the force, protecting the wearer. To meet increased demand, the Niagara Falls plant recently launched a multi-million dollar expansion project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008.

Saint-Gobain’s website is located at www.saint-gobain.com.