The Ultimate Guide to Ceramic Body Armor: What You Need to Know
If you're looking for reliable and effective body armor, ceramic body armor is an excellent choice. Ceramic armor offers excellent protection against high-velocity rounds and can be used for a variety of purposes, from law enforcement to military operations and even civilians in high-threat areas.
|Table of Contents
|What is Ceramic Body Armor
|How Does Ceramic Body Armor Work?
|Different Types of Ceramic Armor
|Hercules Ceramic Body Armor Line
|Choosing the Right Armor
At Spartan Armor Systems®, we specialize in producing top-quality ceramic body armor, including the Hercules Ceramic Body Armor Line: Hercules Level IV Ceramic Body Armor, Hercules X Level IV Multi-Hit Armor (Soon to be Hercules Xtreme), and Hercules LITE Level RF2 (III+) Lightweight Ceramic Body Armor. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about ceramic body armor, its benefits, drawbacks, and the different types of ceramic armor.
What is Ceramic Body Armor?
Ceramic body armor refers to body armor that is made of specialized ceramics known for their exceptional ability to halt high-velocity projectiles, including armor piercing rifle rounds. The materials used to make ceramic body armor usually include alumina, silicon carbide, or boron carbide. These materials, along with a high-quality manufacturing process, possess remarkable hardness and toughness, allowing them to withstand significant amounts of force and thus providing optimal protection against bullets.
How Does Ceramic Body Armor Work?
Ceramic body armor works by breaking up and spreading out the energy from a high-velocity projectile. When a bullet strikes the ceramic material, it causes the material to crack and break up. This causes the kinetic energy of the bullet to be dispersed over a larger area, reducing the force of impact on the wearer's body.
The Benefits of Ceramic Body Armor
Ceramic body armor is one of the most sought-after pieces of protective gear on the market. Some of the benefits are:
- Highly effective at stopping high-velocity projectiles, providing a high level of protection against armor piercing rifle rounds, which are commonly used in combat situations.
- Relatively lightweight compared to other types of body armor, making it easier to wear and maneuver in the field.
- Spartan Armor Systems® multi-hit ceramic armor is durable and can withstand multiple hits, which is important for law enforcement and military personnel who may be exposed to multiple threats.
For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of ceramic body armor, check out our deeper dive on the benefits and drawbacks of ceramic body armor.
The Drawbacks of Ceramic Body Armor
Ceramic body armor is highly effective but has some drawbacks:
- It's more expensive than other types of body armor, making it less accessible to some.
- Low-quality ceramic body armor can be brittle and easily crack or break from significant impact.
- Ceramic armor plates usually tend to have a shorter shelf life. Most plates have only 5 years before the manufacturer recommends replacement.
Spartan Armor Systems® addresses the low-quality issue by creating high-quality ceramic body armor that has:
- Added high-quality foam to the front of the plate.
- Wrapping with a durable 1000D Cordura® wrap.
This makes their armor less susceptible to cracks upon impact. However, it's still not recommended to drop it from large heights onto rocks.
The Different Types of Ceramic Armor
There are several different types of ceramic armor available on the market. Some of the most common types include:
Aluminum Oxide Ceramic Armor (Good): This is the most used ceramic armor and is highly effective at stopping high-velocity projectiles. Even though aluminum oxide ceramic armor is relatively lightweight compared to other materials, it’s the heaviest and most bulky when it comes to comparing ceramics only. The Hercules Level IV Ceramic Plates are made from this type of ceramic.
- Silicon Carbide Ceramic Armor (Better): This type of ceramic armor is also highly effective at stopping multiple hits and is lighter than aluminum oxide. Its exceptional performance has made it a popular choice for many military and law enforcement personnel.
- Boron Carbide Ceramic Armor (Best): Boron carbide ceramic armor is the most high-quality type of ceramic armor and is the most effective. It is extremely hard, lightweight and in our multi-hit ceramic armor, it can stop multiple rounds of armor piercing ammo, making it ideal for high-threat situations.
Hercules Ceramic Body Armor Line
The Hercules Ceramic Body Armor line is a series of high-quality armor plates manufactured by Spartan Armor Systems®. The line includes three types of plates: Hercules Level IV Ceramic Body Armor, Hercules X Level IV Multi-Hit Armor, and Hercules LITE Level RF2 (III+) Lightweight Ceramic Body Armor.
Hercules Level IV Ceramic Body Armor is designed to stop multiple hits from high-powered rifle rounds. It's not only lightweight, but it has the Advanced Compound Curve for the best comfort in level IV protection.
Hercules X Level IV Multi-Hit Armor is designed to provide the highest level of protection against high-powered rifle rounds. This plate is made of advanced ceramic materials and polyethylene, making it one of the lightest Level IV armor plates on the market at only 6.1 lbs. per plate.
Hercules LITE Level RF2 (III+) Lightweight Ceramic Body Armor is designed to provide the same protection as traditional Level III+ armor plates but with a significant weight reduction. It's made with a combination of advanced ceramic materials and polyethylene, making it a true lightweight level III+ plate at only 4 lbs. per plate.
All three types of plates in the Hercules Ceramic Body Armor line are designed to provide maximum protection while remaining lightweight and comfortable to wear. These plates are a great choice for law enforcement personnel, military personnel, and private citizens who need reliable protection in dangerous situations.
Choosing the Right Ceramic Armor
When choosing the right ceramic body armor, there are a few important factors to consider:
Level of Protection - It's important to select armor that provides the level of protection you need. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has a standard rating system that rates armor plates from Level II to Level IV.
Spartan Armor Systems® provides Level IIIA plates that protect against handgun rounds, Level III plates that stop basic rifle rounds, level III+ (soon to be RF2) plates that stop advanced rifle rounds, and Level IV plates that provide the highest level of protection against high-powered rifle rounds. Watch Rob Orgel of ER Tactical talk about choosing the right protection level.
Comfort and Fit - It's important to choose a plate carrier that fits well and is comfortable to wear for extended periods. A poorly fitting plate inside your plate carrier can be uncomfortable and restrictive, which can hinder movement and increase the likelihood of injury. Double-check that you have the right fit by checking out our sizing guide.
Weight - The weight of the armor plate is an important factor to consider, especially if you need to wear it for extended periods. Heavier plates can be more cumbersome and can lead to fatigue or discomfort a lot faster.
Material - Different types of ceramic materials can be used to make armor plates, and each type has its strengths and weaknesses. Advanced ceramic materials are often used because they provide excellent protection while remaining lightweight. Watch the video below to see how Spartan Armor Systems® manufactures ceramic body armor plates.
Price - The cost of armor plates can vary widely depending on the level of protection, weight, and other factors. It's important to understand that a budget is great, but you need to invest in your protection. Look at all of your options and decide what is best to keep you safe.
Ceramic body armor is a critical component of personal protection for law enforcement, military personnel, and private citizens. The Hercules Ceramic Body Armor line from Spartan Armor Systems® offers a range of high-quality armor plates that provide maximum protection while remaining lightweight and comfortable to wear.
When choosing the right ceramic armor, it's important to consider factors such as level of protection, comfort, fit, weight, material, and price. By taking these factors into account, you can select the armor plate that's right for your protection.
Spartan Armor Systems® is committed to providing the best ceramic body armor on the market, and we're dedicated to ensuring the safety and protection of our customers. Visit our website to learn more about our Hercules Ceramic Body Armor line and our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.