The connection between military success and technology is the stuff of many history PhD dissertations. And, for many of those technological triumphs, materials have been the focal point—from hafting stone spearheads onto rods, heat treating of steels, crafting stainless steel armor suits, or building today’s highly sophisticated weapons and protection systems.

Today, ceramic materials are engineered to “protect and defend” in ways that take advantage of their unique combinations of properties. These materials bring opportunities that no other materials can provide, such as new armors that offer ballistic protection and optical transparency (scroll down to see video of two ballistic tests of aluminum oxynitride armor tiles), but there is much yet to discover, too.

Three feature articles in the March issue of the American Ceramic Society Bulletin highlight engineered ceramics for defense applications:

Also in this issue learn about exciting new developments at the Society, including

Plus, we have our usual coverage of business news and trends, and the latest advances in ceramic materials technology.

Also included is information of the St. Louis Section–Refractory Ceramics Division’s 49th Annual Symposium in March, plus the preliminary programs for June’s PACRIM 10/GOMD 2013 meeting and September’s UNITECR meeting. These are shaping up to be great opportunities for the ceramics community to advance the state of knowledge, network, and conduct business. Be sure to check out the programs to see what they offer you.

Returning to the topic of defense materials and the March Bulletin’s theme, here are a few videos, courtesy of Surmet Inc. (Burlington, Mass.) showing ballistic tests of their AlON, aluminum oxynitride armor.

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