The market is flooded with various types of protective armor gear. The range is truly mind boggling and so is the price variation. All of these variables amount to a very difficult task for the consumers. Customers tend to cheap out on armor plates in order to save money without knowing the true application of the plating they are buying; whether it is in accordance with their job or not. At the same time, buyers tend to overspend on armor plates, complying with the old saying “the more the merrier”. Being mindful of the exact application of the protective gear you are purchasing and whether it will be suitable for your needs is essential. This article will help you understand the intricate differences between trauma plates and simultaneously suggest the ones you should get.
Hard Armor vs Soft Armor
Let’s start with the basics. The purpose of body armor is to offer a protective covering which is aimed at shielding vital organs. Soft armor is a relatively compliant product that undergoes some extent of both elastic and plastic deformation. Due to the product’s malleability, they can be morphed into several different shapes. National Institute of Justice classifies soft armor plates into Level II, IIA and IIIA. Plates of these levels offer good protection against handguns
Hard Armor plate is where you step up the game. Categorized into level III and level IV, hard armor plates are worn to seek shelter from weapons with powerful projectiles. They are fabricated through a process in which polyethylene is compressed. Ceramic is also added to the mix at times. The package is rounded off by steel encasing. However, research in this field continues to yield more and more products with different compositions and superior performances.
Material of Manufacture
Several different materials have been used in mass production of armor plates. Ceramic, Kevlar, Polyethylene etc. Ceramic is usually used in hard armor plates because of the surface hardness it imparts. It is exceptionally resistant to impact from bullets. This material is not pliable at all. Due to its brittle nature, ceramic plates can crack or fracture after impact. Ceramic Plates tend to be heavier as well which can be very cumbersome for the wearer. Ceramic plates can get very expensive.
On the other hand, poly ethylene is used more commonly in soft armor plates. This material has an incredible capacity of undergoing deformation and therefore unlike ceramic, they do not crack upon impact. Polyethylene plates do not require a secondary strengthening material which significantly reduces its weight. Polyethylene plates can absorb more damage and therefore have a longer lifetime in contrast to ceramic plates because unlike ceramic plates, they are flexible. The downside of polyethylene is that is even costlier than ceramic plates.
Type of Plate Cut
Plate cuts play a significant role in the ultimate choice of armor you want to go for. Their weight is a significant deciding factor. Weight affects mobility and agility and in combat these two factors are fundamental.
Full cut plates have a rectangular form and they offer full coverage of the back. They do obstruct free movement but offer complete protection of that region. Shooters cut has cutouts to allow for better mobility. Swimmers cut is a modified version of shooters cut with even more of the material discarded to afford even better movements. SAPI is another type that exists. SAPI basically comprises of arm protection.
Life’s worth cannot be emphasized. Every single second that we relish is because we have our soul intact. The ability to revel in the colors of life is severely hampered when we look at anyone with a physical or mental disability. It is mandatory for high risk individuals to guard their life. Choose wisely between what you want, for the consequences can be irreversible.