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The Turkish ballistic protection and ceramics manufacturer Nurol Teknoloji appeared at the Enforce Tac defence exhibition, held in Nuremberg, Germany, from 26 to 28 February 2024, for the first time following its acquisition of the German ceramic powder manufacturer Industriekeramik Hochrhein (IKH).

Nurol Teknoloji claims to be a leader in the field of advanced technical ceramics and has expertise in the production of ballistic ceramics such as boron carbide (B4C), silicon carbide (SiC) and aluminum oxide (Al2O3). With the acquisition of IKH, Nurol has expanded its capacity to manufacture ballistic ceramics and protective solutions both qualitatively and quantitatively.

“By combining the strengths of IKH with Nurol Teknoloji, we aim to enhance vertical integration and elevate the value proposition offered to our esteemed clients, thereby solidifying our position as a key player in Europe and beyond,” said Selim Baybas, CEO and board member of Nurol Teknoloji.

In the first step, the raw materials are finely ground and mixed according to the product specification. The powder produced at IKH is mainly transported by truck to the Nurol production facility in Ankara. The next step is to press the ceramic powder under high pressure into the intended shapes, such as body protection plates and tiles for platform protection. The blanks are then sintered at high temperatures. IKH’s powder characteristics and the physical and chemical processes involved give the material its properties of hardness and toughness to achieve beyond the required resistance against high-end ammunition.

The direct sintered boron carbide plates, for which IKH supplies the ceramic powder, are currently among the top products for body armour, with a weight advantage of around 25% less than existing boron carbide body armour solutions. The finished body protection element features a fabric layer in front, the protective plate in the middle and a backing behind it. The latter distributes the penetrating energy and prevents fragments from reaching the body.

Nurol Teknoloji is investing further in high-temperature sintering furnaces to increase its direct-sintered silicon carbide and boron carbide capacities in order to meet increased demand for the lightest-possible body and vehicle protection solutions.

From the right: the three stages in the production of body protection with high-strength boron carbide: powder; sintered blank; and body protection element with fabric, boron carbide plate and backing. (Photo: G Heiming)