7 September 2001 Recent advances in aluminum oxynitride (ALON) optical ceramic
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Abstract
Aluminum Oxynitride or ALON optical ceramic is transparent material, developed and patented by Raytheon, which is very similar to sapphire, being comprised mostly of Al2O3 with a small amount of additional nitrogen. This nitrogen addition has the effect of producing a cubic material whose optical and mechanical properties are isotropic. Importantly, this means that it can be produced by powder processing methods, which are scalable to larger sizes, and at lower prices than can be achieved by the single crystal growth techniques that are used to grow sapphire. Furthermore, its isotropic properties make it much easier to grind and polish than sapphire. Recently, the interest in ALON optical ceramic has grown substantially following impressive results in ballistic testing. Ballistic laminates, containing ALON layers, have demonstrated protection against armor piercing rounds, at half the areal density and thickness of conventional ballistic laminates. ALON plates as large as 14x20in are being produced, under Air Force funding, for evaluation as IR windows and transparent armor, using conventional powder processing techniques. The production processes themselves are now being scaled to produce large pieces and large quantities of ALON optical ceramic.
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Lee M. Goldman, Lee M. Goldman, Thomas M. Hartnett, Thomas M. Hartnett, Joseph M. Wahl, Joseph M. Wahl, Robert J. Ondercin, Robert J. Ondercin, Karen R. Olson, Karen R. Olson, } "Recent advances in aluminum oxynitride (ALON) optical ceramic", Proc. SPIE 4375, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII, (7 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.439195; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.439195
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