A Glimpse of Suspence

SUSPENCE is a 3-year NATO funded project within the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, started in September 2020 and involving Italy, Serbia and the United States. The overall aim is to develop new ceramics with unprecedented strength from room temperature up to at least 2000°C for use in severe environments, like body armour protection and hypersonic aerospace vehicles that can be used for defence against terrorist attacks. The attributes to be exploited include combinations of boride and carbide compounds along with hierarchical micro-nano sub-structures formed in such matrices during sintering in the presence of transition metal additives. The scientific goal is to achieve enhanced strength retention, impact resistance and ablation resistance in nano-textured ceramics in the form of rectangular plates and a sharp cone for testing in relevant environments.