Body armor is designed to keep you safe at all times, no matter what kind of situation you may find yourself. If you are outside of a war zone, you may think that a lightweight bulletproof vest or bulletproof jacket should be sufficient protection against any kind of the threat you may face. However, this might not always be the case.
Police officers see all kinds of threats every day. While threat levels may be low on most days, allowing officers to wear lightweight soft armor vests, there are situations when higher protection may be needed. In cases of riots, civil unrest or hostage situations, it may be necessary to seek out stronger ballistic protection.
Hard body armor plates are made of strong materials like ceramic and polyethylene. Armor plates are heavy, and they are capable of withstanding an attack against high-caliber rounds. Because of their weight and lack of flexibility, they aren’t something that most would want to wear every day, but they are an absolute must in those circumstances where heavy fire is expected. Soldiers use these plates every time they in the field for protection against assault rifle rounds and even against sniper fire.
Due to their structure, armored plates take some getting used to. Unlike a lightweight bulletproof vest that moves with your body, armored plates can easily restrict your range of motion. You may not be able to bend in certain wayst, and you may find that your reaction time is hampered.
For example, whereas you may be able to climb stairs quickly when just wearing a bullet proof vest, you’ll probably find that you’ll need some extra time when wearing armored plates. For this reason, it is very important that you wear your new armor outside of combat situations for a while so that you can learn how it works. The last thing you want is to find that you can run or bend that way you’d like when you really need to.
We manufacture body armor gear as ballistic vests and ballistic armor plates, this plates can be used in our bulletproof vests and our plate carriers, when ordering bulletproof plates make sure they will fit your vest and provide you with needed protection as level III and level IV depends to the threat you will face.
Ceramic Bulletproof Plates
These are the oldest plates around because of their cheap price. Ceramic material is very cheap to buy and use. That’s the reason why many armies in the world still use these plates.
The main problem with these type of plates is that they can be broken easily. These plates do not need to break completely to be useless, sometime a fall on the ground is enough to create several cracks in the plate.
These plates made from 2 parts, each part made from different materials and has a different role. The first part is the ceramic layer, its role to break the bullet and absorb its kinetic energy. The second layer made from soft armor and it backing the ceramic plate that been hit, its role to catch the pieces of the bullet and the broken parts from the plate.
As technology progress new material introduced. Aluminum oxide replaced the old ceramic material. In the past the ceramic plate was made from one solid piece, and from first bullet hit, it could entirely break and become cracked and lose it effectiveness.
Using aluminum oxide we make small square shaped parts, these parts connected together to one large plate. This way when the ceramic aluminum plate been hit, only one of those parts breaks while other parts stay whole.
This new technology removed the biggest drawback of the plates, that when the solid ceramic plate was hit it used to break and could only take limited number of bullets even if they hit in different areas of the plate. That’s why these new plates divided into sections and each section acts as plate by itself.
Unfortunately this new plates still weigh the same. Usually level III plates will weigh around 2.5kg and level IV around 3.2KG. It means each plate will weigh as much as bulletproof vest. The weights we mentioned are for 25x30cm / 10×12 inch size plates.
IWEAPONS® Ceramic Armor Plates III
IWEAPONS® Ceramic Side Armor Plates III
Hard Armor Level IV
Ballistic protection rated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) based on bullet-resistant capabilities. We produce bulletproof vests from soft armor with ballistic level of IIIA / 3A. But our armor plates come in several protection ratings.
All our armor plates rated to stop rifle rounds, here are their ballistic levels:
- Rating III / 3 and III+ / 3+ plates rated to stop several rifle rounds
- Rating IV / 4 plates rated to stop armor-piercing rounds in addition to regular rifle rounds
Seems as the choice is simple, best to use the level IV as it provides higher protection. But it is not the case. There many lightweight components that can produce level III and level III+ plates, but not level IV plates. That’s why level IV can sometimes weigh more than double of level III/ III+ plates.
IWEAPONS® Ceramic Armor Plates IV
Polyethylene Bulletproof Plates
If you decided to buy lightweight plate even if it costs more. The only option is polyethylene material, this is the same material that used in soft armor in bulletproof vests. These plates are lightweight and weigh half of the ceramic plates. These plates weigh around 1.5kg. These plates made in high-pressure and in high temperature machine.
In opposite to ceramic plates, these plates only have one solid part made 100% from polyethylene without soft armor backing them. When these plates hit by a bullet, the part that absorbs the bullet melts for short moment to absorb it. This way these plates not getting broken after each hit as ceramic plates. As result this plate can stop multiple bullet hits, each bullet hit makes smaller damage. This plate can fall on the ground without any damage.
The main downside to polyethylene is that the technology only allows us to make them up to level III+ for affordable price. So in case you need level IV armor plates you should use ceramic armor plates.
IWEAPONS® Polyethylene Armor Plates III
IWEAPONS® Polyethylene Armor Plates III+
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Most of our armor plates come in standard size of 25x30cm, IDF army uses custom size plates for bigger body coverage. These military plates made from lightweight polyethylene material and come as stand-alone units.
These plates called Hashmonai plates. They made from High-Density Polyethylene that provide advanced ballistic protection to the wearer. The front plate weighs around 3kg and the rear plate 3.5kg. Because these are stand-alone plate that do not require soft armor backing. This allows the wearer cover big part of his body for low weight.
IWEAPONS® Hashmonai Ballistic Plates
Buy Armor Plates
The most common body armor equipment is soft armor bulletproof vest. The highest protection of these ballistic vests is III-A (3-A), that’s why all our bullet proof vests come with this protection level.
We also produce armor plates in level III (3) and IV (4) for higher ballistic protection, these plates can resist rifle rounds, while level IIIA bulletproof vests can resist up to 9mm and .44 ammunition.
Usually people do not use armor plates known as hard body armor. The reason is obvious and it is money and weight, although there cheaper plates that can be bought online, their shipping be costly because of their weight.
We produce 2 types of armored plates:
- Plates that need to be used in conjunction with level III-A bulletproof vest. These plates require bulletproof vest with pockets to fit them, these bulletproof vests usually called overt or external vests
- Stand-alone plates, these plates can be used by themselves. These plates usually used in plate carriers
The highest level of protection for armor plates is level IV (4), these plates can protect against rifle rounds and armor-piercing bullets.
Most of our plates are single-curve, we also produce double-curve that also called multi-curve plates. In certain cases the wearer prefer to use double-curve plate as front plate to better fit his body shape. We recommend to use single-curve plates on back (rear pocket of the vest). We also produce flat shape plates without curve to be used in objects and not on people.
While the back plates come with rectangle shape, it can limit the hand movement when used as front plate. For this we produce SAPI plates (small arms protective inserts) when we cut the top two corners, and shooters cut shape for bigger movement by cutting bigger part of the top corners. We also make swimmer cut and ESAPI plates for our naval commando units, to allow free movement in the water.
When we cut the top corners of the plate, although it reduces its size, it increasing the motion of the hands. This is the most important need of the shooter to be able to use his weapons and gear freely without any limitations.
We have 3 types of plates:
- Regular plates that used as front and rear plates: 25x30cm / 10x12inch
- Side plates that used on the sides of the vests and plate carriers, these plates come in smaller sizes as 8x8inch and 6x8inch
- Our Hashmonai plates made specifically for the IDF, these plates have custom size
Choosing Armored Plate
It comes down to the ballistic protection level and weight, of course the shape matters but the shape and the size are almost the same on most of our armored plates. While the material of the plate made from; will decide its price, its weight and its level of protection.
We recommend to buy these plates only if you need them. If you really need a hard body armor for your job, try to check with other team members in your unit what plates they have and try to check them. Only after you made your mind and before ordering make sure the plate will fit your bulletproof vest or a plate carrier.