What are the differences between PE and Aramid plates?


As the material science develops, more and more materials have been developed and taken into application. Until decades ago, the emergence of high-performance fiber materials has promoted the renewal of bulletproof plates. Weight has always been an important parameter when choosing military products, but high protection level always brings a great weight, which has been troubling us for a long time. However, the emergence of high-performance materials has alleviated this problem (a PE plate is much lighter than a metal or ceramic plate with the same protection level.)

There are mainly two kinds of high performance fiber material plates on the market: PE plates and aramid plates. Since they are all plates made of high-performance fiber materials, what's the difference between them? Here is a brief introduction.


1. PE plates

PE here refers to Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE). Polyethylene products can be seen everywhere in our daily life, such as plastic bags and beverage bottles that we often use, which are extremely stable and difficult to degrade. In addition, PE has many advantages such as low temperature resistance, ultraviolet light resistance, great water resistance and light weight, all of which make it an ideal material for making bulletproof plates, and PE plate has been regarded to be a relatively high-end product on the current bullet-proof plate market. 


         PE plates

                                                                           PE Plates


However, there are also some considerations when buying and using PE plates: they are vulnerable to high temperature, so it can only be used under a temperature lower than 80 ℃. PE usually decreases rapidly in performance at 80℃, and begins to melt at 150 ℃. Therefore, PE plates are not recommended to be used in high-temperature environments such as the Middle East.

In addition, with poor creep resistance, PE equipment always deforms slowly under sustained pressure. Therefore, long-term extrusion should be avoided when using PE bulletproof equipment. But this problem can be overcame by special technology, in recent days. For example, with the aplication of new technology, Newtech’s bulletproof equipment performs great under long-term pressure.


2. Aramid plates

Aramid, also known as Kevlar was born in the late 1960s. It is a new high-tech synthetic fiber with strong high-temperature resistance, great anticorrosion, light weight and great strength, and has been widely used in many fields, including bulletproof equipment, building and electronic equipment, and so on. Compared with PE, aramid has a better heat resistance and creep resistance. Therefore, aramid plates are better suited to high-temperature areas. 

However, aramid has two fatal shortcomings: Firstly, it is vulnerable to ultraviolet light. It always degrades when exposed to ultraviolet light. Secondly, it is easy to hydrolyze. Even if in a dry environment, it will still absorb moisture in the air and gradually hydrolyze. Therefore, aramid equipment should not be used or stored in the environment with strong ultraviolet light and high humidity for a long time. All these shortcomings have restricted the further application of Aramid in bulletproof industries.


         Kevlar Plates

                                                                                Kevlar Plates


What’s more, because of the material structure, aramid plate is slightly heavier than PE plate with the same protective level, and due to the limited sources of aramid, the price of aramid plate is much more expensive than PE plate.

The above is the introduction to the characteristics of PE and aramid bulletproof inserts. Both plates have their own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, we must study the combat environment carefully, and make a rational choice on the basis of actual environmental factors and your personal circumstances. For example, in the Middle East region where is hot and dry all the year round, you should choose an aramid plate, while in some areas where the climate is wet and the light is strong, a PE plate would be better.

If you want to buy bulletproof plates, welcome to contact us. 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.



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