NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
To the Main Page To the News Page
suomenkielisille sivuille

VTT develops superior bullet-proof material
Big market potential in the defence industry

Pekka Lintula (left) and Jukka Kemppainen.
High resolution image
Photo: Kalle Heiska

The Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT has developed a revolutionary material that can be used for bullet-proof, anti-theft and shrapnel protection applications. The patent rights were sold to Exote Oy, a Finnish company that forecasts a multi-million market for the new material. The company is planning to build a new production facility in southern Finland. The material will most likely be used to produce completely new types of structures for civil and military vehicles.

The new compound consisting of ceramic and metal and is as hard as ceramic and tungsten carbide, much tougher than ceramic and easy to mould into the desired shape. The material is highly resistant to repeated impact and heavy blows and penetrative forces. At the same time, it has high resistance to elevated temperatures. The aluminium oxides and other ceramic materials currently used in armour are brittle and therefore unable to absorb multiple impacts.

The idea came as a spin-off of a project to develop new wear and corrosion-resistant materials and coating techniques for industrial machinery. The material was tested as part of a project funded by the Scientific Defence Council, the Defence Forces Research Centre, the Police Technology Centre, several private companies, and the National Development Agency TEKES. The use of the material for bullet-proofing applications was patented by VTT.

High resolution image
Photo: Pekka Lintula
The rights were subsequently sold to Exote Oy, a subsidiary of Jyrsin-Kierreväline Oy of Hanko, Finland. In response to positive results obtained from short production series, international tests and test marketing, the company decided to launch full-scale production. To ensure further research in the field, VTT signed a long-term framework agreement with Exote. The sale of the patent rights vindicates VTT's belief that innovative research can generate new business and create a basis for commercial partnerships.

According to Mr Jukka Kemppainen, CEO of Exote Oy, the company aims at becoming the world's leading supplier of advanced bullet-proofing materials. Currently the material and related manufacturing techniques are being honed for large-scale production. Tests are also being carried out to explore other industrial applications. The market is now ready for this new material developed by VTT, and results obtained from tests performed by defence materials manufacturers in Australia, Europe and the USA have been encouraging. Over the next few years, the criteria concerning the standard of protection required for personnel carriers, aircraft and armoured vehicles and value transports will increase to a level that can only be met by this new material, says Kemppainen.

Additional information:

VTT Processes
Mr. Pekka Lintula
Tel. +358 3 316 3762, +358 50 300 6237
VTT Processes
Dr. Jaakko Raukola
Tel. +358 3 316 3568, +358 40 527 2684
Exote Oy
Mr. Jukka Kemppainen
Tel. +358 400 461 198

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
[ main ] [ news ] [ suomeksi ]