Ceramics are absolutely amazing, and we’re not just talking about in tactical body armor. Think about the way ceramic tiles and brakes can stand up to heat, or how ceramic cooking knives never need sharpening.
Ceramic plates are used in our plate carriers, which are designed to hold either ceramic or steel plates. They’re typically pounds lighter than traditional steel armor. So how does a piece of clay, when worn with soft body armor, make a shot from 30.06 survivable? How can it take multiple hits from lower caliber firearms? How can it possibly offer level IV protection? To understand why ceramic body armor is so amazing, you have to understand how it reacts differently to a bullet than steel does.
First, a question: why do Formula 1 racecars shatter in a crash? When a crash occurs a great deal of energy is directed at the car. If the car breaks apart, then much of that energy sends the parts flying instead of directing the energy into the monocoque (carbon fiber monocell) where the driver is sitting.
So when you’re talking about ceramic armor, it becomes about energy directing too. When a high-caliber bullet hits ceramics, energy is dissipated by the breaking of the plate. The shards in front of the bullet continue to absorb that energy and move instead of directing the energy directly behind it...because it’s your body that’s behind it. In this way ceramics are lighter and can be made nearly half the weight of steel and can still survive multiple hits from rifles such as .308’s and Ak-47s. (When up against high-powered rounds, it’s important to pair it with soft body armor.)
And let’s not forget about heat...in the hot sun, steel plates are going to get much hotter.If you’re going to wear it all day, ceramics are a great option. You don’t want to get exhausted just from wearing plates, so you should always have a ceramic tactical body armor plate options available.