|Contact person||Daniel Ingelsson|
Protection Levels & Ballistic Standards
Most of our products are tested according to the american 0101.06 or 0108.01 NIJ-standard or the european standards EN1522 and VPAM PM2007. Body armor is commonly tested with the NIJ 0101.06 standard and protective materials like ballistic shields with the NIJ 0108.01 standard.
The chart below is a summary of the four mentioned ballistic standards.
Ballistic materials: Steel vs Fiber & Ceramic
All materials have pros and cons. We prefer our special ballistic steel for most applications but ceramic and aramid/PE products are in some instances the better choise. When considering a product also remember that the ballistic standards only set the level for what is required at a minimum, but there is no upper limit so two items with the same rating can perform very differently in real life.
Ballistic steel tends to be better at edge hits and multiple hits compared to fiber and ceramic products. We have first hand experience with ceramic plates being penetrated 25mm from the edge and by taking three hits within the same area but approx. 20mm from eachother. Both examples are accepted in the NIJ standard. In contrast high quality ballistic steel can take hits just a few mm from the edges and are superior when it comes to multiple close hits.
Ballistic steel has a lower investment cost and a much longer shelf life. Fiber materials commonly have 5 years warranty on the protection level and needs to be discarded after that time. They can also be negatively affected by sunlight and moisture. As long as corrosion is avoided ballistic steel has an almost indefinite shelf life. The lower investment cost combined with a longer shelf life makes steel core armor significantly more economical.
Ballistic steel is generally superior when it comes to durability. For example fiber (aramid/polyethylene) & ceramic shields tend to easily get scratches, which can expose the fiber material and subject it to degradation from uv-light or moisture. Expensive ceramic shields can sometimes crack from ordinary use. Fiber/ceramic have several pros as well, but these examples are important points and has been described to us by operators as a significant problem.
Our steel core shields on the other hand are very scratch resistant and can take rough handling on a whole other level. Scratching the coating with a key or nail will not result in more damage than small marks not even close to penetrating the coating. While we would not recommend anyone trying it, but as an illustration of the difference to ceramic, our steel core models could be hit with a hammer or dropped to the ground from several meters without risk of immediately altering the protection level.
To sum it up: Ballistic steel is in general better against edge hits, multiple hits and some steel jacked/core bullets. It has a lower investment cost, a much longer shelf life and is superior when it comes to durability. For these reasons we highly recommend our steel core products to most customers.