What is hard body armor made of?

Hard Armour Panels are used by different militaries, law enforcement agencies, police etc, around the world to protect them around armed conflicts and other hostile areas.

Thus, it is better to have a proper understanding of how the hard armour works and what are the properties of the materials that are used to manufacture them.

Hard Armour Panels, commonly termed as HAP, offer protection against high-velocity rounds such as armour piercing ammunition, etc.

Hard body armor is made using various layers of firm, durable material such as steel, ceramics, ceramic composites, polyethylene, bullet-resistant fibers, and occasionally, materials like Kevlar. These Hard Armour Panel are covered with fabrics such as nylon.

Broadly armour plates are available in two types or classes which is tested and recognized by NIJ, i.e. Level III and Level IV.

Type 3 plates are rated to stop rifle rounds. A plate must survive three rounds to pass the test. Type 4 plates are rated to stop armor-piercing rounds. One round is shot at the plate for this test, and if it compromises the plate, then it fails.

It then becomes the choice of the user whether to select type 3 or type 4 protection, as well as what that plate will be made out of.

Plates that use a ceramic tile to slow a bullet have been around for decades. Different types of backing help to both increase energy absorption and protect the ceramic itself from accidental damage.

Polyethylene Plates are made using lightweight unidirectional material that resists a bullet’s penetration. It is 50% lighter as compared to ceramic plates.

Materials are not the only differences among armor plates. The shapes and sizes available have changed significantly over the years.

Before purchasing a Hard Armour Panel, one must keep the above factors in mind and then decide what to purchase