Ceramic tiles are widely used as ballistic armor due to their ability to absorb high specific impact energy. However, ceramic materials often exhibit very low ductility and have a tendency to exhibit multiple fractures in spider-web patterns around the point of impact. One method used to introduce ductility is to encapsulate the tile in a metal jacket, or to provide a strongly adhered metallic backing plate. Aluminum and titanium metals are of primary interest to decrease the overall weight of the armor material system. The low temperature Kinetic Metallization (KM) process allows direct deposition of the metals onto the ceramic tiles. This is not possible with thermal spray processes due to the extreme mismatch in thermal expansion and adverse metallic-ceramic chemical reactions at high temperatures. Kinetic Metallization has been used to deposit aluminum and titanium coatings onto silicon carbide (SiC) and proprietary ceramic matrix composite (CMC) tiles. Ballistic testing of coated tiles has shown decreased fracturing of the armor material, leading to improved performance for subsequent impacts.

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