Curvature and Coatings in Body Armor

Curvature and Coatings in Body Armor


We evolved our line to include all the attributes that were needed from all the different sub-sectors or law enforcement and military. If you look at law enforcement, if you’re a SWAT operator, that’s a very different requirement from a patrol officer or a canine operator.

In military, you may have an officer and you may have a Special Forces operator. We developed our rifle plates to meet the needs of those specific roles. To help save their lives, to help increase their mission success by increasing their mobility, because their weight in the bulk of their armor drops so dramatically with Duritium® technology.

Body Armor Curvature

I wanted to touch very quickly on the difference between multi-curve and single-curve, something that not a lot of operators really pay much attention to, they just know they had body armor and it goes into a pocket.

ShotStop® makes both, single-curve and multi-curve, it just depends on the agency’s requirements. This is an example of a multi-curve plate. It bends this way, as well as this way. So, it goes horizontal and vertical in the curvature. The idea is that this wraps the human torso more ergonomically correct, so it hugs the form a little more, it makes mobility easier. It’s more comfortable, is the idea.

This is highly dependent on the officer, the shape of the officer. Some may be more barrel-chested versus others. Some may have a larger abdomen, some may have a larger chest than others. That can affect the comfort level of the plate. That’s why we do actually make both single-curve and multi-curve.

An example of one of our single-curve would be this one. So, it does curve in this direction, as it’s on you. It wraps around your torso, but it does not curve going up and down. It stays straight. So, if I look at it like that, it’s a straight shot, too, whereas if we turn it this way, it’s curving like this to wrap around your torso.

Some people like this cut actually better. It is actually a personal preference for the officers and the one complaint we have heard about the single-curve is that when it’s on a torso, sometimes this bubbles out. There’s space here and when you’re looking down in a patrol car or in a particular activity that you’re on, that can affect the range of motion.

You’ll hear of other curves that are out there in the market. Basically, some people are calling triple-curve multi-curve. Some people are calling quad-curve multi-curve. Some people are customizing and patenting their own curvatures. Again, this is a preference. You should outline it in your specifications. You should be talking to your operators and say, “What do we want?” Then go from there and then find the right body armor for you.

Body Armor Coverings

Now, I’d like to talk just a little bit about the difference between the different coverings, or coatings you might call it, of the rifle plates that are on the market. There are a lot of options here, but the two main ones that are kind of winning right now are either a polyurea coating, which is kind of like truck bed lining basically, it’s just a very strong poly coating that definitely enhances the protective qualities of a rifle plate.

Then you have military fabrics. Military-grade fabrics, I should say. CORDURA® kind of being the leading one. I have examples, ShotStop® uses both, depending on what the requirements from the customer are. This is a polyurea example. It does add to the durability. It helps with acid resistance. It helps with a whole lot, actually. It’s a very strong coating and it will help your plates to have a longer shelf and active life.

The other option that we mentioned was CORDURA. That’s the military-grade fabric that we use. We can use other military-grade fabrics, if requested by the client, but this is the one that kind of comes standard, if you want the cloth.

It’s actually a little bit lighter. Not measurable enough to say it’s going to drop the weight of the plate by 20-40%, but it does decrease the weight just a little bit, but in that, you’ll lose a little bit of the protective qualities of not having polyurea coating.

That’s really from a high level. There are other things to discuss about the differences between the coverings as well, but for all intents and purposes, that’s probably the high-level fly-by of why you would want to go with one or the other.

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