Before buying armor (it doesn’t matter if it’s homemade or factory-made), you should know its main characteristics.

What is the armor made of?

Any armor is a chance of protection, not a panacea against debris or bullets. By wearing it, you will not automatically turn on immortality mode, so do not be in danger.

Basically now they produce level 3 body armor, which provides metal 500 stiffness, for the purchase of which special documents are not needed.

These are vests made of durable fabric, such as Cordura, where layers of protective material sewn together are inserted inside, like in a pillowcase. This material can be:

  • paraaramid – strong fibers, which are a type of aramid fabric;
  • ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene – special thermoplastic polyethylene in the form of sheets.

And body armor protects against pistol balls and debris, which is the main task during the war, thanks to the material that is everywhere in the inside of the vest – on the sides, on the harnesses over the shoulders. There may also be variations with neck and groin protection. They are larger in area than plate carriers.

At the same time, bulletproof vests have special pockets into which protective plates are inserted, just like in plate carriers.

Bulletproof vests

This product is made of a high density, heavy-duty special nylon fabric (polyamide fiber) into which protective boards are inserted. For example, it can be a Corduro fabric with a density of at least 1000d.

By itself, the plate carrier does not protect against anything, unlike body armor. That is, in this case, only the place where the plate is inserted will be protected for a person. Its task is to be durable, wear-resistant and withstand 2 plates inserted into it and other attached ammunition.

How to choose a plate carrier model?

Plates can be made from:

  • industrial steel. These plates will be thicker and much heavier. They can be nitrided to increase the rigidity of the metal, but they are not reliable, more on that below);
  • ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (minus – very afraid of fire);
  • ceramic.

Ceramics is divided into:

  • aluminum oxide (corundum) (Al2O3);
  • silicon carbide (SiC) – about 5-20% lighter than the previous ones with the same area;
  • boron carbide (B4C) – used by the Americans, they are also about 10% lighter than silicon carbide.

Plate types:

  • SA – Stand Alone, this slab can be placed in a slab carrier without an additional protective element nearby.
  • ICW – IN CONJUNCTION WITH – this plate can only be used with an additional protective element.

How does the use of the ICW board smooth out:

  • a soft body armor that has its own protection class (in our case, NIJ IIIA) in combination with a top-level ICW plate, that is, IV NIJ.
  • a slab carrier with an additional protective element inserted (it can be a bag with para-aramid or NVMPE) + ICW slab class IV NIJ.

It is important to know that ICW armor components are certified by the NIJ as a single system and are not interchangeable, i.e. a specific plate with a specific body armor or a specific protective package. To provide complete and certified protection, ICW armor components must be paired with the manufacturer’s recommended companion armor piece.