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Saint-Gobain to expand output of body armor Niagara Falls plant will be adding 18 jobs

Saint-Gobain Ceramics is expanding production capacity of tough ceramic plates in Niagara Falls to meet demand for body armor from the U.S. military, the company said Monday.

The state Power Authority had announced in January that it increased the plant's power allocation to support the increased production, and the future addition of 18 jobs to the plant's total of 164.

The expansion, to be complete in early 2008, will bring to 10,000 the number of torso plates the plant can produce per month, the company said in a statement.

Each set of body armor includes two torso plates and two side plates of boron carbide or silicon carbide, the company said.

When a bullet strikes the super-hard ceramic materials it shatters, dispersing its force across the body armor and protecting the wearer.

The Niagara Falls plant has added 10 jobs, and more may be added as the expansion continues, the company said in a statement.

France-based Saint-Gobain had sales of $52 billion worldwide last year, with operations in more than 50 countries.

e-mail: fwilliams@buffnews.com

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