Steel Body Armor vs Other Armor Types
Concerned about safety in today's world? It's time to take safety seriously and consider purchasing body armor. Steel body armor is a popular choice for many due to its durability and effectiveness. Made of hardened steel plates designed to stop ballistic threats, it offers multi-hit capability, energy dispersal, and spall coating. Invest in your safety and protect yourself with steel body armor from Spartan Armor Systems®.
1. Multi-hit capability: Steel body armor can withstand multiple hits without losing its effectiveness, making it ideal for high-risk situations.
2. Less blunt force trauma: Steel body armor disperses energy through the plate, reducing the amount of back face deformation and minimizing blunt force trauma injuries.
3. Spall coating: A spall coating on the surface of the steel plate helps to prevent fragments from breaking off and causing injury to the wearer.
4. Cost-effectiveness: Steel body armor is often more affordable than other types of body armor, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious buyers, especially over the long term, due to its long shelf life.
1. Weight and flexibility: Steel body armor is heavy and can be restrictive in movement, making it less comfortable to wear for extended periods.
2. Limited Threat Rating: The steel body armor that Spartan Armor Systemsׅ® provides only comes in Level III or Level III+. Other armor types like ceramic are usually Level IV and protect against advanced rifle rounds.
Comparison of Steel Body Armor to Other Armor Types
Now, let's compare steel body armor to other armor types based on the following factors. Note that we took a deep dive into steel body armor here.
Steel body armor is known for its multi-hit capability, meaning it can withstand multiple hits without losing its effectiveness. This is a significant advantage over other armor types, such as ceramic armor specifically, which may become compromised after one or two hits of .30-06 M2AP that are in close proximity to each other. This is due to the ceramic strike face being removed where the initial impact occurred.
Note that Spartan Armor Systems® understands a need for a true multi-hit ceramic plate, and is leading the industry with this innovative Level IV Ceramic Body Armor Plate.
Blunt Force Trauma
Steel body armor disperses energy through the plate, reducing the amount of back-face deformation. With a typical BFD range of 12-25mm, it minimizes the risk of blunt force trauma injuries. Ceramic or composite armor, on the other hand, has a larger range of BFD, which in turn makes it more harmful. Similarly, soft, or flexible armor, has the same issue and has a typical range of 30-40mm of BFD.
Steel plates provide the greatest protection from BFD against other plates, but at range of 15-25mm, you still risk the chance of an injury from blunt force trauma. That’s why we recommend also sliding a trauma pad in your plate carrier. This helps to further protect you from addition injuries if shot with your body armor on.
When using steel body armor, spall is an ever-present concern. Spall is the term used to describe the fragments that are created when a bullet strikes a plate. These fragments can cause injury to the wearer, even if the bullet is stopped. Fortunately, Spartan Armor Systems® has developed solutions to mitigate spall and fragmentation.
All our steel plates come with a base coat that helps with corrosion mitigation. However, we offer an additional option for a full coat of our Encapsaloc™. This coating provides an added layer of protection, catching more of the spall and reducing the amount of fragmentation that can occur.
Even with these coatings, it is impossible to avoid all spall. That's why we offer a Spall Containment Sleeve. This sleeve is designed to catch any fragments that may break off the plate, minimizing the risk of injury to the wearer, and is available for any shooters cut plates or swimmers cut plates.
Overall, Spartan Armor Systems® offers a comprehensive approach to spall and fragmentation mitigation when using steel body armor. Our base coat, Encapsaloc™ coating, and Spall Containment Sleeve work together to provide the best possible protection for our customers.
Weight and Flexibility
One of the limitations of steel body armor is its weight and lack of flexibility (high flexibility means more BFD!). It can be cumbersome to wear for extended periods weigh an average of about 7-8 lbs. per plate and may restrict movement to an extent.
Even though steel body armor is not flexible, Spartan Armor Systems® has options to help the fit of the plate to your body. Our base-level plates come with a single curve, formed on a continual radius die. Our competitors have this single curve as an upgrade and call it a “multi-curve”. Whereas we have an option for an “Advanced Triple Curve” or ATC on your steel plates. This is a true multi-curve formation that has a unique curvature at the top, bottom, and sides of the plate.
Ceramic armor is usually lighter and more flexible but may not be as durable as steel armor. Soft armor is the lightest and most flexible of the three types, but the convenience of weight makes it lack in protection level.
Note that a high-quality plate carrier comes into play here. The better the plate carrier, the more comfortable you will be with your plates, no matter the armor type.
One of the significant advantages of steel body armor is its cost-effectiveness. While other types of body armor, such as ceramic or composite, may offer similar levels of protection, they can be much more expensive.
With steel body armor, you can get level III or III+ protection at a much lower cost than composite or ceramic plates. This makes it an attractive option for those who need reliable protection on a budget. Additionally, steel plates have a longer shelf life than other armor types, making them a more durable and cost-effective investment in the long run.
Another advantage of steel body armor is its long shelf life. Spartan Armor Systems® steel plates, for example, have a shelf life of 20 years, which is significantly longer than other armor types. Ceramic plates, for instance, only have a shelf life of 5 years due to the material's nature and the risk of cracking or breaking over time, especially if dropped. This means that steel body armor offers a more reliable and long-lasting solution for those who need to store their armor for an extended period.
Additionally, steel plates from Spartan Armor Systems® are not affected by temperature changes or moisture due to the base coat that is added onto the plate, which can impact the effectiveness of other armor types over time. Overall, the longer shelf life of steel body armor makes it a more practical and cost-effective choice for those who want to invest in reliable protection for the long term.
Steel body armor has several advantages, including multi-hit capability, energy dispersal through the plate, and spall coating. However, it is heavy and less flexible, making it less comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Ceramic armor is usually lighter and more flexible but may not be as durable as steel armor. Soft armor is the lightest and most flexible of the three types but lacks in protection level.
Q: Why are steel body armor plates a popular choice?
A: Steel body armor is a popular choice due to its durability and effectiveness. It is made of hardened steel plates that are designed to stop bullets and other ballistic threats. It is also cost-effective compared to other types of body armor.
Q: What is the shelf life of steel body armor?
A: The shelf life of steel body armor can vary depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the armor. Spartan Armor Systems® steel plates, for example, have a shelf life of 20 years, which is significantly longer than other armor types.
Q: How does the durability of steel body armor compare to other armor types?
A: Steel body armor is known for its durability and effectiveness. It can withstand multiple hits without losing its effectiveness and has a longer shelf life than other armor types. Ceramic armor, for instance, may not be as durable as steel armor due to the risk of cracking or breaking over time.
Q: What should I consider when choosing the type of body armor to purchase?
A: When choosing the type of body armor to purchase, it is important to consider your individual needs and circumstances. Factors to consider include the level of protection needed, the threat level you might face, the weight and flexibility of the armor, and the cost. It is also important to consider the shelf life and durability of the armor, as well as any customization options that may be available.