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US Army researching 3D printed ceramic body armor

US Army researching 3D printed ceramic body armor

Written by David

January 22, 2019

Ceramic is one of the hardest materials, which is why it often finds its way into body armor; it works by being so hard that it shatters incoming projectiles, reducing their kinetic mass and penetrability. Ceramic is also incredibly brittle, meaning ceramic armor plates usually break when they’re hit with a projectile and become less effective with each shot. But brittleness can be affected with geometry as certain shapes and compositions are more durable than others, and material scientists at the United States Army Research Laboratory are aiming to 3D print ceramic armor inspired by the abalone shell. Joshua Pelz, ACerS member and materials science and engineering doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego designed the custom auger-based extruder for research on 3D printing antennas with gradients, but his project took a turn when he started working with ceramic compounds found in armor. “I started working on […]


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