How to choose hard armor plates?


With the rapid development of science and technology, firearms become more and more powerful. Do you know how to choose a practical hard armor plate when it comes to an active shooter incident?

Here is some information for you to make an armor plate protection choice. According to the NIJ standard, hard armor plates have two protection levels, III and IV.

NIJ level III plates are rated to stop regular rifle bullets, such as M80 NATO Balls, AK lead cores;

NIJ level IV plates are rated to stop armor piercing projectiles, such as M2 Armor Piercing (AP), AK Armor Piercing Incendiary (API).

Given the difference between hard armor plates with different protection levels, you can choose hard armor plates rationally. Currently, there are mainly three materials used to make hard armor plates, steel, polyethylene, and ceramic, and their characteristics are as follows:

(PE plates and ceramics plates are all available in Newtech)       



The first steel hard armor plate was appeared in the Second World War, and it has always been the mainstream of hard armor plates until 20-30 years ago, when the PE plate and ceramic plate were brought into being. After that, steel hard armor plates have gradually been replaced, especially in military and police force.

Steel plates are strong enough to provide great protection with a less cost, but they are easily broken upon impact, resulting in secondary fragmentation injuries, and are heavier than both polyethylene and ceramic plates. In view of the above, the steel plate is not the best choice.


            The Hard Armor Plate in World War II            

                                                                The Hard Armor Plate in World War II 



Polyethylene (PE) is a thermoplastic. In the manufacturing process of PE plates, unidirectional UHMWPE (Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) is bonded over HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) sheet, and then cut to shape, placed in a mold, and compressed under high heat and pressure. Bullets spinning always bring friction against plates, which cause the melting of polyethylene, and the melted polyethylene can stick the bullet in turn. After that, the melted polyethylene will re-solidify quickly.

A PE plate weighs 1 to 1.5 ponds, much lighter than both ceramic steel plates. However, due to the limitations of the current material technology, we are still unable to produce PE plates with higher protection levels. Therefore, PE plates are not recommended when there are bigger threats, such as armor piercing rounds (AP). In addition, polyethylene plates are also 200%-300% costlier than ceramic ones.     


          Bare PE Plate

                                                                                          Bare PE Plate



Ceramic hard armor plate is a new type of plate made of compounded material. In collision with bullets, localized ceramic fragments caused by hypervelocity impact promote a great release of bullet energy, and then the bullet is battered to fragments, which finally caught by backing material, such as PE or aramid fiber.

There are also some imperfections of ceramic plates. For example, it cannot withstand a second hit on the same spot.

Ceramic plates can be made of several materials, mainly alumina, silicon carbide, and boron carbide. Today’s ceramic plates are much more lighter and stronger than in the past. Some manufacturers, such as Newtech, can produce ceramic plates with the basically same weight of PE plates. The weight and price of ceramic plates vary according to the materials used, which can meet the various requirements of customers.

Compare with PE plates with the same protection level, the ceramic plate has a lighter weight, more popular price, even smaller thickness. So, for most buyers, it is undoubtedly a good choice.

               Ceramic Plate of Newtech

                                                                             Ceramic Plate of Newtech


All the facts above indicate that the ceramic plate is a great choice.

Newtech has been long dedicated to the development and research of bulletproof equipment, we provide quality NIJ III PE Hard Armor Plates and NIJ IIIA vests, as well as many other products. When considering the purchase of protective products, you can visit the website of Newtech to find the best one for yourself.



What is a hard armor plate?

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