Tyr Protection / DI Konsult
|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 ballistic testing is performed by independent test labs and we also do alot of in-house testing. In-house testing is made for example when we want to stress test a material with multiple hits or use calibers or distances not included in the test standards.
The chart below is a summary of the three mentioned ballistic material standards. The body armor standard 0101.06 is not included but the calibers and velocities are very similar to 0108.01:
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 is often better against steel core/tipped bullets. One example is the swedish m/39B 9mm that easily penetrates IIIA soft armor and usually also IIIA hard polyethylene armor, but is easily stopped by IIIA steel. Another example is 5,56x45 SS109/M855 that usually penetrates level III polyethylene armor but not level III ballistic steel.
The other way around fiber/ceramic is generally better at stopping very fast bullets like 5,56 M193 which has alot of energy and a small surface area that makes is good at penetrating steel. 5,56 might be most important for american users because of its wide popularity and many brands that make hot ammo. In Europe 5,56 is very uncommon among criminals, and when making a review of our local commonly available brands of ammo only one had high enough velocity in real life to make a difference for our steel armor.
For armor piercing military bullets like 7,62x39 API-BZ or 7,62x51 AP with tungsten core the best option is ceramic Level IV since steel core models for those threats would be too heavy for most users. Evaluate the most common threats in your area and use that as a guide for choosing material and rating. Feel free to contact us for advise or info about specific threats vs materials.
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.
|Company||Tyr Protection/DI Konsult|