What is the difference between a curved steel plate and a flat steel plate?
With the rapid progress of bulletproof industry, various bulletproof devices have been developed. So, when it comes to choosing which plate is best for yourself, there are always many options. For most people, the defense level, material, and price are always the first consideration when making choice. According to material, hard armor plates can be mainly divided into three categories, ceramic plates, PE plates and steel plates; as for the defense level, the USA NIJ standards, German standards, Russian standards and other standards are all commonly used standards. In addition, plates most often come in two styles, curved type and flat type. When people are shopping for plates, they often fail to pay attention to this type of detail. In fact, choosing the right curvature of plate is very important. It affects your comfort degree and flexibility during the tactical activity. Here are the details of the two styles.
Curved Plates do not lay flat on the chest but rather adapts to the shape of the human chest. So, compared with flat plate, it is much more comfortable to wear. With the development of technology, curved plates have developing into two types: single-curved plates and multi-curved plates.
1) Single-curved plates
The single -curved plate is a plate with only one curve that fits the curve of the human chest, which can be imagined as a rectangular plate cut from a pipe. Compared with multi-curved plate, the single one is much simpler and cheaper.
2) Multi-curved plates
There are also additional curves on the multi-curved plate. And there are usually corner cuts at the upper edge of the plate.
Some would argue that since it wraps around the body it would protect a bit more. Curved plates are also said to mitigate penetration by not allowing rounds to impact at a 90-degree angle. In addition, the corner cuts at the upper edge of the multi-curved plate don’t hinder the movement of the arms in tactical activities, allowing the flexible use of guns and other weapons. One downside of using a curved plate in your bulletproof vest is that it is very complicated to make one for each body, and they usually come in one standard size. Since the curved surface deflects bullets, one problem is that we do not know where the bullet will go, which probably cause the secondary damage to the wearers and their companions.
2. Flat Plates
Flat plates are less expensive than curved plates. Those who do not really know much about the product would say that curved plates are better than flat plates. But it is not true--while curved plates will make the bullet deflect, flat plates will automatically stop the bullet, without secondary damage. In addition, the simple structure, popular price, and straightforward producing process make the flat plate a better choice for many people. For example, the current high-level shields, such as NIJ III and IV shields, are mostly developed with a flat structure, and the armor plates used on jeep, Hummer and other vehicles are also of flat structure. But it is a fact that flat plates are much more uncomfortable to wear compared with curved plates.
3. Corner Cut
We can notice that there are usually corner cuts at the upper edges of some plates, which are called Shooters Cuts (SC). This structure is designed to facilitate the user's standard shooting action. A plate without corner cut will obstruct the shooting action to a certain extent.
What’s more, there are also some plates with asymmetrical corner cuts, which are called Advanced Shooters Cuts (ASC). This design comes from the idea that the motion amplitudes of the left and right arms when shooting are different from each other.
Different types of plates all have their own advantages and drawbacks. When choosing plates, it is suggested that the first thing you should do is to fully study the battlefield conditions, and make a rational choice according to your own actual situation.