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Spinel and Optical Ceramics

Spinel Transparent Armor and Electro-Optics

TA&T maintains a significant capability to produce transparent Spinel ceramic armor and electro-optical windows (flat and curved), domes, lenses, and hemispheres.

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Transparent Spinel Ceramic

  • Spinel is a transparent ceramic material transmitting from the Ultraviolet (UV) and extending deep into the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR)
  • Optically isotropic, eliminating birefringence effects
  • High hardness, high strength, erosion and chemical resistant
  • Available as flat or curved windows for armor and optical applications
  • Available as domes, hemispheres, lenses, and other conformal shapes for optical applications

Applications Availability


Spinel is suitable for immediate insertion into a number of market segments:

  • Standard transparent ground armor
  • Specialty transparent ground armor for clandestine applications
  • Air/Rotorcraft transparent armor
  • Optical sensor windows and domes suitable for IR and tri-mode operation
  • Civilian uses: cell phone screens, watch crystals, barcode scanners

Transparent Armor

  • Developed material and processing capability to produce Spinel transparent armor plates up to 16”x18”, 15”x20”, and 18” diameter rounds
  • Spinel Armor is 50% lighter-weight, half the thickness and life extending erosion resistance compared to state-of-the-art ballistic glass armor
  • Lightest Weight Armor qualified to demanding Army All Weather Multi-Hit ATPD 2352R specification for Ground Combat Vehicles. Suitable for Light Ground Vehicles, Wheeled Track vehicles, Heavy Transport Trucks, Gunner Protection Kits, Navy Surface Vessels, Secret Service Vehicles

Spinel Electro-Optical Windows and Lenses

  • Excellent transmission in the UV through mid-wave IR wavelengths
  • Superior refractive index stability with respect to temperature from aerodynamic heating
  • High hardness provides increased resistance to environmental abrasion and impact
  • Optical train lenses for broad band sensing spectrum

Spinel Production – Hot Pressing

A combination of hot presses enables the production of 2,000 in² of Spinel per week in a variety of sizes. Custom sizes are available through specially designed dies or post-processing, where appropriate.


Spinel Production – Pressureless Sintering

Research and development of pressureless sintering at TA&T enables complex transparent shapes to be made. Standard components include domes (Hellfire and JAGM sizes), lenses, and custom-shaped components.