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Military: New Aluminum Windows Stop .50-Caliber Bullet
LiveScience.com ^ | October 18th, 2005

Posted on 10/19/2005 8:34:32 PM PDT by Termite_Commander

A new type of transparent armor made of aluminum could one day replace glass in military vehicles.

The product is called aluminum oxynitride. It is being tested by the Army and the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio.

The material is a ceramic compound with a high compressive strength and durability, according to an Army statement issued this week. It performs better than the multilayered glass products currently in use, and its about half the weight. It is virtually scratch-resistant.

"The substance itself is light-years ahead of glass," said 1st Lt. Joseph La Monica, who heads the research.

Glass is still used in the new process, being sandwhiched between an outer layer of the polished aluminum oxynitride and a polymer backing.

.50-caliber test

In a test this summer, the product held up to a .50-caliber sniper's rifle with amor-piercing bullets. Traditional glass armor did not survive the test.

Officials hope the product will prove even more useful when considering more severe threats, such as explosives.

"The higher the threat, the more savings you're going to get," La Monica said. "With glass, to get the protection against higher threats, you have to keep building layers upon layers. But with [the new product], the material only needs to be increased a few millimeters."

"Achieving protection at lighter weights will allow the armor to be more easily integrated into vehicles," said Ron Hoffman, a researcher at University of Dayton Research Institute.

Cost vs. Durability

Time, blowing sand and other environmental factors degrade glass surfaces. The aluminum material is expected to retain its clarity for much longer.

"It all comes down to survivability and being able to see what's out there and to make decisions while having the added protection," Hoffman said.

The military is considering installing the aluminum windows on Humvees and low-flying, slower aircraft like the the C-130 Hercules.

The holdup for now is price.

Traditional transparent armor costs less than $4 per square inch. The aluminum oxynitride is now at least $10 per square inch. That price would come down with mass production. And the material's longevity would make it cost less than the initial price tag would indicate.

"It might cost more in the beginning, but it is going to cost less in the long run because you are going to have to replace it less," La Monica said.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aluminum; aluminumglass; aluminumwindows; banglist; clearaluminum; clearmetal; glassmetal; jamesdoohan; metalglass; miraclemetal; scotty; startrek; stopsbullets; transparentaluminum
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A couple other stories:

NASCAR Engineers Help Design New Combat Vehicle

Military Mulls Use of 'Star Trek' Weapons

Military Aims for High-Tech, Life-Like Limb Replacements

1 posted on 10/19/2005 8:34:33 PM PDT by Termite_Commander
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To: Termite_Commander

Transparent aluminum, just like Star Trek... IV was it?


2 posted on 10/19/2005 8:37:48 PM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Termite_Commander
Hopefully this stuff doesn't burn like std. aluminum alloy.
3 posted on 10/19/2005 8:38:19 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: DTogo

Captain, there be whales here. - Scotty.


4 posted on 10/19/2005 8:38:59 PM PDT by KingKongCobra (The "Donner Party" can just go eat themselves)
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To: Termite_Commander

Interesting! bump


5 posted on 10/19/2005 8:39:29 PM PDT by nralife
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To: Termite_Commander

They can have personal one man human movers and be boxed in as you pass through a dangerous areas.


6 posted on 10/19/2005 8:42:21 PM PDT by StuLongIsland
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To: Termite_Commander

"Hello computer"

7 posted on 10/19/2005 8:42:53 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Termite_Commander
Transparent aluminum??? Didn't Scotty talk about that on Star Trek iv The Voyage Home?
8 posted on 10/19/2005 8:43:19 PM PDT by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Termite_Commander

9 posted on 10/19/2005 8:43:35 PM PDT by Brian Mosely (A government is a body of people -- usually notably ungoverned)
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To: pbrown

I can see there are alot of Star Trek fans on this thread. :-)


10 posted on 10/19/2005 8:44:56 PM PDT by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Termite_Commander

The paradox has begun.


11 posted on 10/19/2005 8:45:48 PM PDT by Delta 21 (MKC USCG-ret)
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To: KingKongCobra

computer...... LOL


12 posted on 10/19/2005 8:46:28 PM PDT by Waywardson (Carry on! Nothing equals the splendor!)
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To: D Rider
Hopefully this stuff doesn't burn like std. aluminum alloy.

It is already fully oxidized, so in a sense it has already been burned to the extent possible.

The US has been using transparent aluminum ceramics in very advanced weapon components for quite some time and our ability to fabricate it and work it has given us quite an advantage as this material has capabilities far outside the realm of any plausible substitute. It is nice to see that fabrication has become cheap enough for bulk product that they can use it in armor.

One of the other advantages this stuff has, beside being extremely tough and virtually impervious to all types of environmental damage, is that is transparent across a broad range of infrared as well visible light. One of the classical uses of it has been to protect the sensitive IR optical components of weapons operating under extreme environmental conditions -- think hypersonic terminal guidance where air friction alone is enough to ablate and melt most conventional materials.

13 posted on 10/19/2005 8:47:41 PM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Termite_Commander

Who makes it?


14 posted on 10/19/2005 8:48:46 PM PDT by Just Lori (Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.)
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To: Termite_Commander
"The substance itself is light-years ahead of glass," said 1st Lt. Joseph La Monica, who heads the research.

Should a man who uses the term 'light-year' to describe a unit of time be in charge of research?

15 posted on 10/19/2005 8:50:07 PM PDT by opinionator
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To: Termite_Commander

bump


16 posted on 10/19/2005 8:51:15 PM PDT by Enterprise (The modern Democrat Party - a toxic stew of mental illness, cultism, and organized crime.)
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To: Waywardson

How do we know he didn't invent the bloody thing? - scotty


17 posted on 10/19/2005 8:51:50 PM PDT by KingKongCobra (The "Donner Party" can just go eat themselves)
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To: opinionator

light-years - LOL, good one.


18 posted on 10/19/2005 8:53:37 PM PDT by KingKongCobra (The "Donner Party" can just go eat themselves)
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To: Spanaway Lori
Chain Gun
19 posted on 10/19/2005 9:00:20 PM PDT by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Spanaway Lori
Try a google on the 2002 headline "Raytheon And Surmet To Develop & Market New Aluminum Oxynitride Products".

Not sure how many others, or if the two above are making the kind used in the article at the top of the thread...still, the title is suggestive.

20 posted on 10/19/2005 9:01:06 PM PDT by ReveBM
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To: opinionator
Science geeks tend to misuse terminology or use bad examples when we take science speak and turn it into something everyone can understand.

One of my many failed analogies was comparing a new IPsec tunneling protocol back in college to a Twinkie during a presentation. I think i got an E for effort on that one.

Of course this gap between technobable and understandable english lead to the invention of the marketing department :)
21 posted on 10/19/2005 9:03:33 PM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: opinionator
Should a man who uses the term 'light-year' to describe a unit of time be in charge of research?

I'd say it's a more extreme version of being "miles" ahead of the competition, and thus a distance measure is appropriate.

22 posted on 10/19/2005 9:03:33 PM PDT by supercat (Don't fix blame--FIX THE PROBLEM.)
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To: KevinDavis

Space ping?


23 posted on 10/19/2005 9:03:44 PM PDT by DrDavid (Support Global Warming: Surf the Hebrides)
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To: DTogo
Yeah, Scotty invented it!
24 posted on 10/19/2005 9:05:13 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: Termite_Commander

Diane Feinstein has probably up armored her limo with this stuff already.


25 posted on 10/19/2005 9:16:09 PM PDT by Ajnin (I)
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To: DTogo

How do we know he didn't invent the bloody thing?


26 posted on 10/19/2005 9:24:09 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (The Democratic Party-Jackass symbol, jackass leaders, jackass supporters.)
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To: Termite_Commander

sweeeeeet.


27 posted on 10/19/2005 9:27:14 PM PDT by flashbunny (What is more important: Loyalty to principles, or loyalty to personalities?)
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To: Termite_Commander

So instead of people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones it'll have to turn into people who live in transparent aluminium houses shouldn't recycle.


28 posted on 10/19/2005 9:34:26 PM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Termite_Commander; adam_az; American in Israel; Ancesthntr; aragorn; archy; Badray; buccaneer81; ...

BANG!


29 posted on 10/19/2005 9:38:32 PM PDT by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: opinionator
No, because saying something is [a distance unit] ahead of something else makes perfect sense, eg:

The substance itself is miles ahead of glass.
30 posted on 10/19/2005 9:41:50 PM PDT by notfornothing
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To: DTogo

It took until post 2 before someone mentioned Star Trek 4. You guys are the best!


31 posted on 10/19/2005 9:42:41 PM PDT by Captainpaintball
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To: Termite_Commander

just add two humpback whales and a klingon bird of prey!!!


32 posted on 10/19/2005 9:46:46 PM PDT by Schwaeky (Christians vs. Muslims: Jesus Loves you.... Allah wants you dead...)
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To: Captainpaintball

I grew up on it, the "classic" series that is, not the new spin-off junk.


33 posted on 10/19/2005 9:52:15 PM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Brian Mosely

Ah ha ha! Classic. First thing I thought of too when I saw transparent aluminum. Transporters are next ;)


34 posted on 10/19/2005 10:21:08 PM PDT by rjp2005
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To: pbrown
I can see there are alot of Star Trek fans on this thread. :-)

I am amazed but I am sixty-seven years old and have managed to never see a single episode or movie about Star Trek.

35 posted on 10/19/2005 10:31:46 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
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To: pbrown

Happiness is a warm belt fed weapon.


36 posted on 10/19/2005 10:40:31 PM PDT by magslinger (At the end of the day the only truly educated people are autodidacts.)
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To: Termite_Commander

Transparent aluminum :)


37 posted on 10/19/2005 10:46:11 PM PDT by Paul_Denton (Stom ta jora Oom (Translation: Shut the F*** up UN))
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To: Darksheare; DJ MacWoW; Darkchylde

transparent aluminum ping... (phasers next?)


38 posted on 10/19/2005 11:05:04 PM PDT by NoCmpromiz (What part of John 14:6 don't you get?)
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To: Termite_Commander

Uh, guys?

Doogan is dead. Has been dead for a while.

DeForrest Kelly beat him to the punch though - so maybe Doogan did get to say - "He's dead Jim" after all.


39 posted on 10/19/2005 11:32:03 PM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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To: ASOC

Thats Doohan, Doo Han. Pronounced Doo-in

I was corrected by the man himself at a convention in the early 90's.


40 posted on 10/19/2005 11:44:39 PM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Childrens classics updated for modern islam. "If You're Happy and You Know It, Go Kaboom!")
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To: notfornothing
The substance itself is miles ahead of glass.

Is that metaphor ever used with units other than miles or light years?

41 posted on 10/19/2005 11:51:08 PM PDT by supercat (Don't fix blame--FIX THE PROBLEM.)
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To: supercat

Hmmmm......now that you mention it, I really can't think of any. Would "leaps and bounds" count?? :P


42 posted on 10/20/2005 12:54:43 AM PDT by notfornothing
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To: Delta 21
Yes it has. However, the movie was set in the mid90's. Dit it reallu take 10 years to bring it to market?
43 posted on 10/20/2005 12:59:28 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Islam is merely Nazism without the snappy fashion sense.)
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To: festus
"So instead of people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones it'll have to turn into people who live in transparent aluminum houses shouldn't recycle."

Now it's people who live in transparent aluminum houses should worry about 20 mm and larger rounds.

44 posted on 10/20/2005 1:07:28 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: Termite_Commander

What's more, if it's that durable, it could be recycled from older vehicles to newer ones.

I wonder how hard this stuff is to cut.


45 posted on 10/20/2005 1:09:04 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (No wonder the Southern Baptist Church threw Greer out: Only one god per church! [Ann Coulter])
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To: Schwaeky
just add two humpback whales and a klingon bird of prey!!!

Don't forget the water.

46 posted on 10/20/2005 3:12:01 AM PDT by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: pbrown
Transparent aluminum??? Didn't Scotty talk about that on Star Trek iv The Voyage Home?

I truely hope that somebody told Jimmy Doohan this before he died. I have no doubt that he would have been thrilled by this.

Mark

47 posted on 10/20/2005 3:18:11 AM PDT by MarkL (I didn't get to where I am today by worrying about what I'd feel like tomorrow!)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
LOL - I stand corrected, other than the his is still dead part, 'cause he is - dead.

From all that I have read, he was genuinely a nice guy and quite the family man (the second time around). And a WWII vet to boot.

May he rest in peace - and his ashes orbit for all time.
48 posted on 10/20/2005 8:03:51 AM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
I am amazed but I am sixty-seven years old and have managed to never see a single episode or movie about Star Trek.

You have my sincerest sympathies. To have gone so long deprived of the wonders of Star Trek...

The Wrath of Khan, is my favorite. With such dialoge as..."He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia...and 'round the Antares Maelstrom...and 'round perditions flames...before I give him up."

Now, that is a man who holds a grudge.

49 posted on 10/20/2005 9:42:20 AM PDT by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: magslinger
Happiness is a warm belt fed weapon.

I'm sure you must be right. :-)

50 posted on 10/20/2005 9:43:54 AM PDT by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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