AlON: A brief history of its emergence and evolution

James W. McCauley, Parimal Patel, Mingwei Chen, Gary Gilde, Elmar Strassburger, Bhasker Paliwal, K. T. Ramesh, Dattatraya P. Dandekar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    232 Citations (Scopus)


    In the early 1970s in Japan, the United States and France it was found that additions of nitrogen into aluminum oxide resulted in new spinel-like phases. At about the same time there was much increased interest in oxynitrides, stimulated by Professor K. Jack in the UK and Y. Oyama in Japan. Following these activities a major research program in this area was initiated at the Army Materials and Mechanics Research Center in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1974. These efforts resulted in the first complete Al2O3-AlN phase equilibrium diagram and a process to reactively sinter to nearly full density, translucent aluminum oxynitride spinel ceramic, which was named AlON. Subsequently, the Raytheon Company further developed AlON into a highly transparent material (ALON™) with many applications including transparent armor and EM domes and windows, among others-the technology was recently transferred to the Surmet Corporation. This paper will review the early history, phase equilibrium, crystal chemistry, and properties of this material, along with more recent work in our laboratory on transient liquid phase sintering and new data on lattice parameter measurements. In addition, recent results of collaborative work on AlON's dynamic mechanical properties using plate impact, Kolsky bar and edge-on impact (EoI) experimental techniques, including preliminary modeling at the microstructural scale of AlON in the EoI test, will be presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-236
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1


    • AlON
    • History
    • Phase equilibrium
    • Processing
    • Properties

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ceramics and Composites
    • Materials Chemistry


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