Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. has secured a minority interest with an option to acquire all of Graphite Machining Services and Innovations LLC in Tempe, Ariz.

Ceradyne makes ceramic-based body armor for military applications, industrial components, and other products for commercial markets.

Graphite Machining makes plastics, composites and metals, and provides manufacturing services for application in the semiconductor, electronics and aerospace industries.

The company also makes ceramic coating that’s used in light-emitting diodes.

David Reed, president of Ceradyne’s North American operations, called the acquisition a “relatively small but high-technology investment, [which] fits very well with our diversification strategy.”

Terms of the acquisition were not immediately disclosed.

Reed said the company expects the market for light-emitting diodes to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Ceradyne has been on a run to diversify its products through acquisitions over recent years, in part to offset a cooling in its solar-related business. It promoted Robert Miller as vice president of acquisitions in April.

Strategic acquisitions are part of the company’s plans to reach $1 billion in annual sales by 2016, according to Chief Executive Joel Moskowitz.

Last year’s revenue totaled $572 million, a 40% growth from a year earlier.

Ceradyne’s shares dipped last month on news of second-quarter earnings that reflected drops in sales and profit.